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Uptown in Kingston

  Family Systems Medicine Consulting  

Amy with Family Practice Resident Amy Sou
30 years experience

Amy Begel, LCSW, LMFT is a family therapist with nearly thirty years experience teaching resident physicians in the primary care setting. She specializes in family systems medicine, which refers  to the interplay between relational dynamics, health and illness. This means helping physicians understand the way a patient's well-being is embedded in family relational patterns. Physicians also develop a wider range of interpersonal skills which enhances the therapeutic impact in the doctor/patient relationship. 

Use of Self

For the last five years Amy has been on the faculty of the family medicine residency for the Institute for Family Health. There she conducts regular family systems medicine workshops for residents and observes them in the office setting with a focus on expanding their interpersonal skill set. She also holds weekly biopsychosocial rounds for the Medicine team. Here the focus centers on "difficult" patients and families, along with bedside consultations. Much of Amy's work revolves around the "use of self" of the physician, which values the explorations of the personhood of the practitioner in the context of the therapeutic encounter.

Ms. Begel has been a welcome addition to our faculty, broadening the focus of our residents and students from the biology and treatment of disease to the complex interplay of illness, emotion and effective communication in establishing therapeutic healing relationships. She ably gives our trainees the freedom to safely explore their actions and reactions to challenging patients in order to develop effective interpersonal and professional skills." 

Andrew C. Yacht, MD, MSc, FACP, Former Vice Chair & Program Director, Director, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Maimonides Medical Center


Amy began her work with primary care docs in 1986 when she joined the faculty of Lutheran Medical Center's family medicine residency. In training with Dr. Salvador Minuchin at this time, Amy used this period to develop her model for family systems medicine. 

Amy Begel with Family Practice Residents



“Amy Begel is brilliant! Her insight into the central role of the family system in our patient's experience of illness and disease unfailingly provides a new way to look at difficult situations and a new set of ideas and skills to bring to bear on behalf of our patients. Over and over again our residents and fellows comment on how eye-opening the perspective Amy brings to her teaching is for them, and how profoundly it has changed their way of looking at their patients. Having now collaborated with Amy for several years in our teaching program, I have trouble imagining how we can could possibly teach medicine effectively without incorporating the family systems perspective with her help."

Benjamin Kligler, M.D., M.P.H.  Vice Chair and Research Director  Beth Israel Department of Integrative Medicine  Continuum Center for Health and Healing

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