Cross-Cultural Family Research and Practice - Chapter 20: Culture and family-based intervention for schizophrenia, bipolar, and other psychotic-related spectrum disorders

Elsevier,   Cross-Cultural Family Research and Practice, August 2020, Pages 645-674
Amy Weisman de Mamani, Olivia Altamirano, Merranda McLaughlin, Daisy Lopez

This chapter reviews the literature on culture and family-based psychological interventions for schizophrenia, bipolar, and related (SBR) psychotic spectrum disorders. Several studies were examined across cultures and results seem to strongly and robustly indicate that incorporating the family into treatment reduces patient psychiatric symptoms and improves mental health of patients and their caregivers alike. Basic elements of psychotherapy that are likely to be helpful across cultures are discussed, and specific recommendations for working with multicultural populations with SBR are provided. A few examples include: incorporating the family into treatment whenever possible; systematically checking in with patients and their family members about how they understand the patient’s illness and what practices they view as useful (or detrimental); eliciting and discussing cultural differences in beliefs and values and recognizing and respecting those that differ from one’s own; and attempting to make treatments more accessible by offering them within the community and at religious institutions and other community settings, if possible.