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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Advanced Family Work for Schizophrenia: An Evidence-Based Approach

Julian Leff

Price: £15.00

Members' discount available

Published: Nov 2005

Format: paperback

Number of pages: 100

ISBN: 9781904671275

Advanced Family Work for Schizophrenia: An Evidence-Based Approach

This book is a companion volume to Family Work for Schizophrenia (second edition) and gives more detailed explanations of how to work with difficult cases.


For more than ten years, Professor Leff has been supervising family work for psychosis with mental health teams in North and South London. From comprehensive records of about 150 families discussed during supervision, he has distilled 19 anonymised case histories illustrating the most difficult problems encountered in such work. Each family is described in detail as presented by the supervisee. Then, the author gives his understanding of the problems in a social and cultural context, and makes recommendations for ongoing family work. Follow-up of the families ranges from three to 30 months, and is charted with further recommendations at each supervision session. A summary is presented of the work with each family, including its successes and failures and the lessons learned. The detailed histories and follow-ups constitute an ideal learning experience for both skilled therapists and novices engaged in family work with patients suffering from psychosis.



  1. Introduction
  2. Culture clash
  3. People with a psychotic illness and a physical condition
  4. More than one family member with a psychosis
  5. Parents in a conflictual relationship or separated
  6. Dysfunctional families
  7. Unresolved past trauma
  8. Exploitative carer
  9. Postscript

“It has been a truly enriching experience to read this book. It is clear and readable. ...This book would benefit not only clinicians who have little experience in family therapy but also trained therapists involved in working with families with serious mental illness.”

Primary Care and Community Psychiatry


"A thoughtful workbook of well-honed examples, full of user-friendly formulations and pragmatic suggestions informed by a lifetime of working and researching in the field."

Psychiatric Bulletin


"Leff's particular talent is for distilling complex situations into readily understandable themes, which then lead to often deceptively simple interventions that always manage to be respectful to those involved."

Psychiatric Bulletin

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