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Does family interrelating change over the course of individual treatment?



Interrelating is a combination of each person's relating towards a specified other and each person's view of the other's relating towards him/her. Negative interrelating is a maladaptive form of interrelating. The study aims to (1) compare the negative interrelating within the families of neurotic and psychotic psychotherapy outpatients; (2) examine whether individual treatment has a beneficial effect upon negative interrelating; (3) examine whether the improvement extends beyond the patients' interrelating with their parents (i.e., between the parents and the patients' sibling and between the parents themselves); and (4) make similar comparisons within a sample of non-patients. The negative interrelating between the psychotic patients and their parents was more marked than that between the neurotic patients and their parents. The negative interrelating between the patients and their parents dropped significantly over the course of therapy. There were also significant changes in the interrelating between the patients' siblings and their parents and between the parents themselves even though they had not been involved in the therapy. Many of the end of therapy scores of the patients and their parents approached more those of the non-patients. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Key Practitioner Message:

• It is useful to measure both the negative relating of patients and the negative interrelating between patients and other family members.

• The patients' therapy appears also to benefit the interrelating between those family members who were not involved in the therapy.

• These findings may be more marked in Greek families, in which young adults stay closer to their parents.

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