Interdisciplinary Treatment Team: A Psychodynamic Systems Approach


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Instructor: Abstract:

Samar Habl and Cathleen Morey of the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, MA.In the era of the Affordable Care Act, patient care increasingly involves the use of integrated interdisciplinary treatment models. In this presentation, we will discuss interdisciplinary treatment teams that utilize a psychodynamic systems approach to optimize integration of care for patients with complex psychiatric conditions. 

Working with patients with complex psychiatric disorders poses significant clinical challenges that stress the ability of treatment teams to function optimally in the implementation of treatment plans. A psychodynamic systems approach attends to these challenges from a conceptual framework anchored in fundamental principles that include attending to the treatment system as a whole by engaging the vulnerabilities and dynamics in all components of the system. This conceptual framework is a lens through which the challenges teams commonly face are viewed as being shaped by the patient, family, team and broader systems dynamics in which everyone is embedded. A team that responds only by managing the patient with limits and expectations rather than by interpreting the meaning of the patient, family,  team and systems dynamics risks a collapse of the team’s reflective functioning, which can potentially result in yet another iteration of the patient’s repetitive, self-defeating treatment resistant behaviors. Teams that hold an interpretive stance have an opportunity to effectively engage these dynamics from multiple perspectives. Using this model, treatment challenges become treatment opportunities for a deepening alliance with the patient, leading to improved patient outcomes. 

We will offer fictionalized clinical vignettes which will demonstrate how to apply a psychodynamic systems approach to team functioning. 

Format: Videocast or audio podcast

Learning Objectives

To identify core principles that underpin a psychodynamic systems approach to interdisciplinary treatment teams
To describe key clinical phenomena that often emerge in treatment teams
To explain how a systems approach informs treatment interventions on teams

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