Adapting the Multifamily Group Model to the Veterans Affairs System: The REACH Program

Michelle D. Sherman, Ellen P. Fischer, Kristen Sorocco, William R. McFarlane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Oklahoma City Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center modified an evidence-based model of family psychoeducation (the multifamily group model; McFarlane, 2002) and implemented it for the first time in a VA setting and with veterans living with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Named the REACH Program (Reaching out to Educate and Assist Caring, Healthy Families), the 3-phase program begins with 4 weekly "joining sessions" with the individual veteran and his/her family focused on rapport building, assessment, and goal setting. Phase II consists of 6 weekly diagnosis-specific educational/support sessions for cohorts of 4 to 6 veterans and their families. In Phase III, veterans/families attend 6 monthly multifamily groups to support the maintenance of gains. This article describes the rationale for modifying the original Multifamily Group Program (MFG) for a unique setting (the VA) and the needs of families of veterans in a new diagnostic group (PTSD). The changes to the MFG curriculum are specifically described, and details of the new REACH intervention are explained. Attendance, retention, and satisfaction data for 2 diagnostic cohorts, PTSD and affective disorders, are also presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-600
Number of pages8
JournalProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice
Volume40
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

Keywords

  • PTSD
  • affective disorders
  • family psychoeducation
  • family therapy
  • multifamily group

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