Our service offers family work to service users, who experience psychosis, and their families


What is family work?


All families under stress may find it difficult to cope. At these times it can become difficult to communicate and work together effectively.

Family work builds on the existing strengths within your family to support you, to support one another, through the experience of psychosis.


Why should we do family work?

  • research over many years has shown in a number of areas family work may help you and your family
  • there is particularly strong evidence family work is effectivein reducing the chance of relapse in psychosis
  • NICE (National Institute of Health and Care Excellence) guidelines recommend service users experiencing psychosis and their families should be offered family work as part of their care package.


Who does it involve?

Family sessions are open to you and whoever you feel makes up your ‘family’. This means that friends who you spend a lot of time with and provide you with support can be included too.


How can we access family work?

  • your care coordinator may be qualified to do this work, otherwise they can arrange for you to meet a family worker to discuss the work and answer any questions
  • family work is entirely optional and offered alongside other treatments and support
  • becoming involved in family work will not affect your existing care package.


What happens next?

  • family work always starts with a family worker (who may be your care coordinator) meeting you and your family to explain what will happen and answer any questions
  • if you decide to take part in the work it will begin with a family worker meeting with you and your family individually to understand each individual’s experience
  • you will all then plan together what you are going to work on
  • meetings usually last about an hour, and generally take place once a week
  • on average, family work lasts for around 12 sessions
  • family work usually takes place in your own home - if this is not convenient, it may be possible to arrange meetings elsewhere
  • each family is unique therefore the family work is tailored to your needs.


Family work will help you and your family to:

  • develop a shared understanding of your experience of psychosis
  • learn new ways to talk together effectively and reduce stress
  • learn new ways to tackle challenges as a family
  • practice new skills in sessions and between sessions.


Family work focuses on current issues in the here and now which are important to all the family. Its purpose is not to focus on the past or to look for blame in the family.



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