Integrating Individual and Family Interventions in the Treatment of Medical Conditions
By Len Sperry
Routledge – 2014 – 222 pages
Series: Family Therapy and Counseling
The emergence of behavioral health, how it is practiced, and how it will be practiced is at the heart of this book. Len Sperry, a prominent author and educator, is one of the first to describe and advocate for an approach to health care that can significantly increase the efficacy and efficiency of health care and reduce costs for patients with chronic medical conditions. He does so by addressing both core theoretical constructs and core practice competencies to help readers comfortably provide effective integrated psychosocial treatment to individuals and families.
His book is split into three parts. The first provides an overview of the key family and personality dynamics and how medical conditions impact individual and family members throughout the family life cycle. Important considerations in this part include ethical and clinical issues, spiritual considerations, treatment non-compliance, motivational interviewing, and case conceptualization. Of particular importance is Dr. Sperry’s description of four illness stages, which reflect patients’ psychosocial adjustment to their chronic illnesses. The second part consists of seven chapters dedicated to common medical conditions, followed by the last part that addresses integrated behavioral health competency and competency-based training.
Behavioral health clinicians and trainees in various behavioral health specialties, including individual psychotherapists and family therapists, will find this practical book of interest and value to their work. No matter their experience, all readers will walk away from this book with the knowledge necessary to increase motivation, deal with non-compliance issues, and tailor therapeutic change, while increasing treatment efficacy and efficiency with their patients.
“This is no longer the health system for which you trained. No matter how skilled, you need this book to successfully practice in the rapidly emerging health care world.” - Nicholas A. Cummings, PhD, ScD, Former President, American Psychological Association and President, The Nicholas & Dorothy Cummings Foundation
“Len Sperry’s new book Behavioral Health: Integrating Individual and Family Interventions in the Treatment of Medical Conditions will be mandatory reading for practicing therapists and those in training. This volume provides the necessary ingredients for a therapist to be successful in an integrated health practice.” - Jon Carlson, PsyD, EdD, Distinguished Professor, Governors State University
“Dr. Len Sperry describes the future of health care in his groundbreaking Behavioral Health. As a physician and major contributor to counselor education, Dr. Sperry has the breadth of professional experience to offer a highly integrative model for emerging health care practice, which takes into account individual personality factors, family dynamics, multicultural influences, and spiritual dimensions. Dr. Sperry masterfully weaves together perspectives from different systemic levels to construct meaningful case conceptualization, a domain in which he is widely recognized as an expert. He offers rich case studies and treatment recommendations for chronic illnesses affecting many family lives including arthritis, asthma, cardiac disease, and diabetes. Extending the basic approach of combined medication and psychotherapy, Dr. Sperry attends to issues such as illness perspectives and motivational interviewing to improve treatment compliance and quality of family life. This book will be an excellent resource for clinicians from counseling, marriage and family therapy, psychology, and other behavioral health care disciplines. Behavioral Health will become a standard reference for practitioners in an emerging 21st century specialization.” - Stephen Southern, PhD, Professor and Chair, Psychology and Counseling Department, Mississippi College
“What makes reading a Len Sperry book so enjoyable is that you are in the hands of a master teacher who can show you exactly what to do to be a more effective mental health practitioner. In Behavioral Health: Integrating Individual and Family Interventions in the Treatment of Medical Conditions, Dr. Sperry brings together his years of experience in medicine, psychology, family therapy, and counselor education to produce the most practical, ‘how to,’ biopsychosocial approach to behavioral health available.” - Brian A. Gerrard, PhD, Associate Professor, Counseling Psychology Department and Executive Director, Center for Child and Family Development, University of San Francisco, California
“Integrated behavioral health has its roots in the interdisciplinary field of behavioral medicine, which applies behavioral and other psychological principles in the treatment of medical conditions and the prevention of chronic illness. Dr. Sperry's approach adds the biopsychosocial model and family therapy interventions to individual psychological interventions. The approach he describes, advocates, and illustrates is supported by documented evidence proving its effectiveness and efficacy while at the same time reducing cost. Just look at the table of contents and you will want to read this book!” - S. Richard Sauber, PhD, Forensic Family and Clinical Psychologist; Editor-in-Chief, American Journal of Family Therapy
“The more individual, couple, and family therapists enter in the real world of primary health care, the more they will need to practice with emotionally- and physically-impaired individuals and their families. Furthermore, they will need to interact continually with other practitioners whose major concerns for their patients may be physical. However, these professionals will need mental health professionals to deal with the inevitable emotional and relational aspects of any physical disorder. Hence, the days of solo practice for both primary care physicians and mental health professionals are slowly giving way to integrated group and team work. No single professional in physical and mental health can continue to practice on her or his own. In this ground-breaking volume, Len Sperry has achieved the apex of his productive and original publishing career. No physical or mental health professional can continue to practice without this important, pioneering contribution in this century.” - Luciano L'Abate, PhD, ABPP, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Georgia State University
“With healthcare reform taking center stage, our nation is increasingly focusing on integrating behavioral and physical health care endeavors and on collaborative family health care. Thus, Dr. Sperry’s book Behavioral Health: Integrating Individual and Family Interventions in the Treatment of Medical Conditions is extremely timely and much needed. This volume offers valuable, up-to-date commentaries related to conceptualizing integrated behavioral health, utilizing this framework to guide the treatment of common medical problems, and incorporating this approach in the training of competent behavioral health care professionals. Dr. Sperry skillfully utilizes current scholarship to guide his recommendations for practical application. This is a must-read for anyone providing integrative behavioral health care services.” - Nadine J. Kaslow, PhD, ABPP, Emory University School of Medicine, Georgia; 2014 President, American Psychological Association
“Our healthcare system is plagued by symptom-based models of care that rely on ineffective applications of medications or manualized treatments. Dr. Sperry’s new book is a welcome antidote in recognizing the causal psychopathology underlying patient physical symptoms in primary care. He guides the reader through integrated care approaches that address individual personality; defenses and coping styles; illness perceptions; and couple and family dynamics that are essential for effective and efficient treatment. Dr. Sperry outlines a model that is systematic and fits the new model of brief interventions designed to improve outcome and reduce cost of care, including many examples of common medical conditions and related psychopathology. These elements are sorely lacking in most integrated treatment models and this [book] should be required reading for novice and expert alike.” - Ronald R. O’Donnell, PhD, Director, The Nicholas A. Cummings Doctor of Behavioral Health program, Arizona State University
“As a psychologist and physician Dr. Sperry has a unique perspective on integrative health care. This book will be a valuable resource for those wanting to know more about these changes and how to implement them into practice.” - James H. Bray, PhD, 2009 President, American Psychological Association; Editor, Primary Care Psychology
“Health care in the U.S. is in crisis, in large part due to the failure to integrate care for medical and psychological problems, and to offer healthcare for the whole person. Hence, Dr. Sperry’s newest book is very timely, as it provides an excellent guide to providing integrated care for common chronic illnesses. This book is essential reading for both for both graduate students and professionals in mental health.” - Ronald F. Levant, EdD, ABPP, Co-Editor, A New Psychology of Men; 2005 President, American Psychological Association; Professor, The University of Akron, Ohio
“Len Sperry’s newest book, Behavioral Health: Integrating Individual and Family Interventions in the Treatment of Medical Conditions, is a roadmap for the paradigm shift that must occur in the health professions. For too long, the disciplines associated with medicine and the helping professions have remained separated in applied knowledge, practice, and training. Dr. Sperry’s integrative approach fulfills the promise of a bio-psycho-social approach to medicine by connecting the various disciplines in a collaborative/cooperative process that reduces costs while still improving the overall health of clients. Dr. Sperry’s book is a complete operation manual for the implementation of integrated behavioral health from a multi-perspective conceptualization to applications for specified medical conditions to competency-based training. It is all here: The roadmap to a very necessary future is perfectly laid out.” - James Robert Bitter, EdD, NCC, MFC, Professor of Counseling and Human Services, East Tennessee State University
“Dr. Sperry has done it again. In this insightful and practical book, he has provided behavioral health clinicians and trainees with the conceptual frameworks, competencies, and interventions to guide their work with individuals, couples and families coping with acute and chronic illness. This book provides a wealth of clinical tools, supported by a solid conceptual and theoretical foundation. The numerous case examples bring into bold relief the principles and concepts discussed in this valuable book, which belongs in the library of all systemically-oriented behavioral health clinicians.” - Mark B. White, PhD, Associate Professor of Medical Family Therapy & Marriage and Family Therapy, East Carolina University
“Dr. Sperry has once again produced an essential tool which should be on the active bookshelf of every health care provider. His integrative treatment model is the answer to what many have asked for as an integrated approach to health care. This model will allow any health care provider to greatly expand his or her diagnostic and treatment abilities and options.” - Richard H. Cox, MD, PhD, Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science, Duke University Medical School
Foreword William O'Donohue Part 1: Integrated Behavioral Health: Basic Considerations 1. Integrated Behavioral Health: An Overview 2. Family Dynamics 3. Personality Dynamics 4. Illness Perceptions 5. Stages of Chronic Illness 6. Ethical Considerations 7. Spiritual Considerations 8. Compliance Considerations 9. Motivational Interviewing 10. Case Conceptualization 11. Culturally Sensitive Treatment 12. Strategic Therapy 13. Combined Treatment: Medication and Psychotherapy Part 2: Integrated Behavioral Health: Treatment of Common Medical Conditions 14. Arthritis 15. Asthma 16. Breast Cancer 17. Cardiac Disease 18. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 19. Diabetes 20. Systemic Lupus Erythematosis Part 3: Integrated Behavioral Health: Competence and Training 21. Competence 22. Competency-Based Training
Len Sperry, MD, PhD, is Professor of Mental Health Counseling at Florida Atlantic University, and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin where, for several years, he held appointments as a tenured full professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Preventive Medicine, and Family and Community Medicine, and is board certified in Psychiatry and in Preventive Medicine. He has more than 600 publications, including 60 professional books. He is also a member of 13 book and journal editorial boards.