- Heather Katafiasz, PhD, Assistant Professor, Program Director & Clinical Training Director: Master’s Program in Marriage and Family Therapy, The University of Akron, Akron, Oh
- Rikki Patton PhD, Associate Professor, Co-Program Director: PhD Program in Counselor Education and Supervision with a specialization in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy, The University of Akron, Akron, Oh
- Jessica Chou, PhD, Assistant Professor, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
- Gloria Gonzalez-Kruger, PhD, Associate Clinical Professor, Director of Clinical Services, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
- Laura Lynch, PhD, Assistant Clinical Professor, Program Director: Doctor of Couple and Family Therapy Program, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Collaboration between mental health and behavioral health has been identified as a best practice in the treatment of patients by the World Health Organization (WHO, 2010). It has been shown to lead to improved patient outcomes and save money on healthcare costs (WHO, 2010); however, creating an integrated healthcare practice can be challenging, especially in established practices. This presentation will discuss the multifaceted process of integrating Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) and Mental Health Counselors (MHCs) into a primary care practice using a Medical Family Therapy integration framework. Specifically, Medical Family Therapy identifies five levels of integration: 1) minimal collaboration, 2) basic collaboration at a distance, 3) collaboration on-site, 4) close collaboration in a partly integrated system, and 5) close collaboration in a fully integrated system (Doherty, McDaniels, & Baird, 1996). This program will have four components. The first component will be to provide an overview of the integrated healthcare program the presenters are a part of. The second component will be to discuss how the presenters moved through the levels of integration to the point at which the integrated healthcare program is currently. The third component will be to provide reflections on the strengths and challenges encountered throughout the process. Finally, this presentation will discuss specific case examples to elucidate reflections learned. The presentation will utilize a mixture of didactic lecture with visual aids and audience participation in the form of discussion questions and reflections.
- Identify the five levels of Medical Family Therapy Integration.
- Discuss the strengths and challenges related to integrating behavioral health into primary care.
- Apply the content of the presentation to specific case examples.