THE ILLNESS BELIEFS MODEL

Praise & Reviews


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  • Phelps, K.W. (2010). Beliefs and Illness: A Model for Healing [Book review].Families, Systems, & Health, 28(1), 70-71. Retrieved from http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/fsh/28/1/    Abstract: This book highlights the multitude of beliefs activated when families encounter illness. It is unique from other texts, as the authors clearly take a bio-psychosocial-spiritual perspective in their clinical practice model. The focus on reciprocity and illness as a relational phenomenon is illustrated through a number of micro- and macromoves that guide the reader through the ultimate goal to soften suffering. Wright and Bell begin their text by laying a foundation for their clinical practice model. This portion of the book details the influence of past investigators’ concepts, construction of a suitable name for the model, and qualitative research documenting significant change events. The authors then take the reader on a thoughtful journey of beliefs about families, illness, and elements of the therapeutic process. The second part of the book flows seamlessly from the theoretical groundwork laid in part one for this model of healing. The authors present four macromoves (creating context, distinguishing beliefs, challenging constraining beliefs, and strengthening facilitating beliefs) paired with a number of micromoves or interventions. The final part of the book is dedicated to further resources. While this book has numerous strengths, a few advisory statements are also warranted. For example, the clinician well versed in postmodern concepts of therapy might find portions of the book redundant to other readings. Though not a text centered on collaboration between providers, Wright and Bell do provide a model that invites an extensive degree of collaboration between clinician, patient, family, and larger systems. This text is perhaps best suited for mental health or medical providers hoping to take a relational, bio-psychosocial-spiritual approach to the healing process. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
  • 5-star review on Amazon.com from rezerr: “An excellent book. Challenging, stretching, thought provoking. A must read for health care professionals! Very rewarding both personally and professionally.”
  • Left to right: Dr. Janice M. Bell receives AFTA award from Dr. Susan McDaniel. AFTA Annual Meeting, San Francisco, 2012

    Left to right: Dr. Janice M. Bell receives AFTA award from Dr. Susan McDaniel. AFTA Annual Meeting, San Francisco, 2012

    2011 American Family Therapy Academy (AFTA): Innovative Contribution to Family Therapy Award. For the past 30 years, Drs Wright, Bell, and Watson Nelson have applied and adapted systemic concepts from family therapy to increase the capacity of nurses and other health care professionals to address illness suffering and family healing.  Based on a belief that “illness is a family affair”, their pioneering work has focused on including families and larger systems in health care assessment and intervention. From 1982-2007, they operated The Family Nursing Unit at the University of Calgary in Canada, a unique outpatient clinic and faculty practice unit that became internationally known as the home of Family Systems Nursingand The Calgary Models for generalist and advanced nursing practice with families.  Through clinical scholarship and a program of research, they developed practice models that have been implemented nationally and internationally: the Illness Beliefs Model (Wright & Bell, 2009; Wright, Watson, & Bell, 1996), the Trinity Model (Wright, 2005), and the Calgary Family Assessment and Calgary Family Intervention Models (Wright & Leahey, 1984, 1994, 2000, 2005, 2009, 2013).  They have also produced several educational Videos and DVD’s to demonstrate the clinical skills necessary to soften illness suffering and invite family healing.  Dr Watson Nelson produced 5 Videos and Dr Wright has co-produced 8 DVD’s in the “How to” Family Nursing Series.  Dr Wright also produced the DVD Spirituality, Suffering, and Illness: Conversations for Healing. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate students they have offered lectures, workshops, and exernships about their practice models to practicing professionals, academics, and students in more than 22 countries. These three innovative, brilliant, and beautiful nursing colleagues hold emeritus positions at the University of Calgary and Brigham Young University, continue to write and lecture internationally, and offer Family Externships about their practice models.~ Tribute written by: Susan H McDaniel PhD, Dr. Laurie Sands Distinguished Professor of Families & Health; Director, Institute for the Family, Department of Psychiatry; Associate Chair, Department of Family Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York, USA.

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