ABSTRACT

The field of psychosocial interventions in dealing with medical problems has seen both theoretical and technical integration of approaches, the choice depending primarily on the phase of the illness. the goals of intervention are the adaptation to or resolution of illness-related psychosocial needs; the revision of illness coping strategies in the sense of “putting the illness in its place”; the creation of a network of social relations offering long-term support; and the development of self-help groups to offer long-term services. The intervention of mental health experts can take place in three major forums: medical settings, self-help associations, and mental health services. In the decision-making process concerning patients, mental health professionals may work in a collaborative programme with medical personnel. Interventions with a low professional profile include support groups and psychosocial programmes. Approaching the field of medical problems from a psychosocial perspective allows a double integration, i.e. an integration of theories and an integration of techniques.