A Practical Model for Treating Schizophrenia in the Real World (by Margaret Newmark)


During the years at Columbia, my closest partner was Bill McFarlane. We founded the Public Psychiatry Fellowship with Steve Rosenheck as the third member of our team in that enterprise, and Bill also got a New York State grant to build an organization to practice, teach, and test multi-family therapy as an intervention for early-episode schizophrenia. Among the many people close to me who joined that enterprise was my wife Margaret, who used her mother’s name – Newmark – as her professional name during that part of her career.
I still marvel at the scope of that project. First they started to run groups in hospitals in New York City. When they were sure of their own grasp of the method, they recruited and supervised other therapists to run them. The supervision was done by videotaping the sessions and reviewing the tapes with the therapists for fidelity to the model. Then they traveled all over New York State to teach the method to hospitals and clinics, They were also invited to other states to teach. Finally, they collaborated with the statisticians at the School of Public Health who analyzed the results of comparison to a mayching “education only” group, showing that the two-year relapse rate with multi-family group treatment was about half of that without.

Margaret wrote this elegant description of the work for the Dulwich Centre Newsletter.