Harriette C. Johnson, PhD, is Associate Professor, School of Social Work, University of Connecticut, West Hartford, CT 06117.
BIOLOGICALLY BASED DEFICIT IN THE IDENTIFIED PATIENT: INDICATIONS FOR PSYCHOEDUCATIONAL STRATEGIES
Article first published online: 8 JUN 2007
Journal of Marital and Family Therapy
Volume 13, Issue 4, pages 337–348, October 1987
How to Cite
Johnson, H. C. (1987), BIOLOGICALLY BASED DEFICIT IN THE IDENTIFIED PATIENT: INDICATIONS FOR PSYCHOEDUCATIONAL STRATEGIES. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 13: 337–348. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.1987.tb00715.x
- Issue published online: 8 JUN 2007
- Article first published online: 8 JUN 2007
The phrase “identified patient” has attracted a wide following among family therapists representing a variety of approaches to family therapy. It is based on the assumption that persons referred for psychotherapeutic treatment are often incorrectly labeled “patients” when, in fact, their symptoms are manifestations of family, not individual, dysfunction or pathology. It is the thesis of this article that when biologically based deficits in the identified patient are a salient determinant of interpersonal dysfunction, such reframing is inappropriate. Psycho-educational strategies for treating families of persons with such physically based conditions as learning disability, attention deficit disorder, epilepsy, autism, and various medical illnesses and handicaps, are recommended.