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Coping With Chronic Illness, Therapist Guide

Steven A. Safren, Jeffrey S. Gonzalez, and Nafisseh Souroudi
978-0-19-531516-5, Paperback, October 2007

The TreatmentsThatWork" series offers you the tools you need to help your clients overcome a range of problems, including anxiety, panic, phobias, eating disorders, addictions, PTSD, and emotional and behavioral aspects of many medical problems, among others. Whatever the condition or diagnosis, we have a program for you.

The treatment outlined in this particular therapist guide is intended for people suffering from depression and living with chronic illnesses. As a result of their poor health, many individuals who are chronically ill become depressed and fail to maintain steady self-care routines. Using this guide, therapists can help clients with chronic illnesses to develop core skills and techniques that will enable them to take better care of themselves. The program incorporates a unique Life-Steps module that teaches clients strategies for keeping up with their medical regimens, including tips for remembering to take medications, getting to medical appointments on time, and communicating effectively with medical providers.

Based on the principles of CBT, this guide provides therapists with overviews of adherence behaviors for select illnesses including cancer, HIV, diabetes, and hypertension, among others. The chapters within it detail adherence skills, integrated with cognitive and behavioral strategies for managing depression such as managing pleasurable activities, adaptive thinking, problem-solving, and relaxation training. The guide concludes with suggestions on how clients can manage their illnesses and avoid relapse into behaviors that worsen their medical condition.

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