COPING WITH CHRONIC DISEASE
I have worked with clients who have been confronted with life-threatening illnesses or disease processes that can be managed with changes in one’s behavior and lifestyle. I also help clients in coping with the types of disease processes that can cause pain, discomfort, and disruptions to their life.
I have worked to help clients maintain a positive outlook and to catch negative thoughts working from a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) orientation. I have worked on how to build up and maintain their support networks and interpersonal relationships at the most critical times when they may be going through surgical procedures or treatments that require them to be dependent upon others.
It is not just about coping with the acute or immediate diagnosis and coming to terms with that, but it’s also looking at it as a long-term process. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to die in the short term but rather that they are going to have to make some significant changes in their life. This could bring disruptions in their relationships and may even require them to change their employment and begin to re-evaluate how they are planning for their life.
Many people can be overcome with anxiety and depression when confronted with a chronic illness and feel ill-prepared to deal with it. I tend to focus on building coping skills and helping build resilience by focusing on things that are within their control.