Creating positive parenting experiences: Family Options.

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry; Systems and Psychosocial Advances Research Center

Publication Date


Document Type

Book Chapter


Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


The Family Options psychiatric rehabilitation intervention targets families where a parent is living with or in recovery from a serious mental illness (e.g., major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders). The Family Options intervention grew out of the efforts of providers, researchers, and parents themselves to provide supports to parents and their family members at Employment Options, Inc., a community-based, recovery-oriented agency located in Marlborough, Massachusetts, USA. The aim of the intervention is to support family members in achieving their desired level of well-being and functioning, and to enhance their social supports and resources, both formal and informal. This chapter will provide (1) our rationale for intervention development; (2) an overview of the Family Options model; (3) a description of services provided; (4) a perspective on the roles of key players, including parent peers, in meeting families' needs; (5) steps in the intervention; and (6) preliminary data regarding outcomes. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of this work for providers, administrators, and policymakers.

DOI of Published Version



Nicholson, J., Wolf, T. & Biebel, K. (2015).Creating positive parenting experiences: Family Options. In Parental psychiatric disorders, 3rd edition (A. Ruepert, D. Maybery, J. Nicholson, M. Seeman and M. Gopfert (Eds.)). pp. 266-276. Cambridge University Press. DOI:10.1017/CBO9781107707559.026

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Journal/Book/Conference Title

Parental psychiatric disorders, 3rd edition