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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Family therapy and creative visualisation : an adjunctive treatment for allergies in children Bodnar, Sallyjane E.


The purpose of the study was to explore the use of Creative Visualization in the context of Family Therapy for treatment of a family of a child with allergies. Based on a single-case research design, the study included pre- and posttest measures; baseline, continuous, and follow-up self-report of symptoms; plus examination of physician's clinical records to determine the efficacy of the intervention. A further purpose of the study was to explore the possible usefulness of a test being developed on the basis of the Psychosomatic Family Model, the Leuven Family Assessment, as an outcome measure. The subject family was an intact family with one adolescent daughter whose most important allergic symptom was poorly controlled asthma, at least partially due to noncompliance with medical advice. The measures included the Leuven Family Assessment, a measure based on the Psychosomatic Family Model, which has been developed for use with families of children with eating disorders; the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Scale (FACES III), a measure based on the Circumplex Family Model, which is a well-accepted measure of family functioning; symptom self-report; and consultation with the child's physician to report hospital admissions and emergency room visits. The baseline period was two weeks, the intervention consisted of two weeks of Relaxation Training and eight weekly meetings for combined Family Therapy and Creative Visualization, and the follow-up consisted of telephone contact with the symptomatic adolescent beginning fourteen weeks after the last family therapy session and continuing for eight weeks. Post-therapy results show a trend toward expected changes in family structure and functioning and marked improvement in the asthmatic symptoms of the adolescent. Creative Visualization is an intervention tool well worth further exploration in the context of family therapy; and the Leuven Family Assessment merits further investigation and development as an outcome measure.

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