Family medicine and family therapy: comparative development, methods, and roles

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Publication Date


Document Type



Behavior Therapy; Family Practice; Family Therapy; Humans


Community Health | Other Medical Specialties | Preventive Medicine


Family medicine and family therapy have evolved separately, but the fields are now increasingly in contact with each other. Today's family physician needs a deeper grasp of their similarities and differences. This paper compares the two disciplines in terms of their (1) membership criteria for treatment, (2) considered appropriateness for treatment, (3) contractual process, and (4) evolution of membership over time. Also explored are the disciplines' notions of illness and change; their differing attitudes toward technique are analyzed as well. Family therapists and family physicians appear likely to have increased exposure to one another. As they do, common approaches may develop, and conceptual differences may present a mutual stimulus for growth and change.


J Fam Pract. 1983 Apr;16(4):773-9.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of family practice

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed.

Reprinted in David H. Olson and Brent C. Miller (editors), Family Studies Review Yearbook, Volume 2, Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications, 1984. Google Book Search description

PubMed ID


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