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From The CriticsReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book focuses not only on the impact of disability and illness on psychological and social functioning, but also on consumer empowerment and self-determination, along with self-expression.
Purpose: The editors note, "the exploration and understanding of illness and/or disability in light of its psychological and social impact continues as the main direction of this book. But this fifth edition also highlights the personal perspectives or stories of those faced with the many demands of living with an illness or disability. These perspectives reflect an opportunity to speak out and express ones' needs and expectations."
Audience: The audience includes students and professionals in rehabilitation practice. The two editors include contributions from 73 authorities in the field. Dr. Orto is Professor and Program Director of Rehabilitation Counseling in the Department of Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation Counseling, Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Boston University and has coauthored and coedited many books in the field of physical disabilities. Dr. Power is Emeritus Professor of Counseling, University of Maryland, and Adjunct Professor at the College of William and Mary. He has also authored numerous publications in the field of family and disability, and vocation/career assessment.
Features: "The five parts focus on historical and current perspectives on illness and disability; the personal impact of illness and disability; family issues; interventions and resources; new directions: issues and perspectives. After each part, there are discussion questions, personal perspectives, and personal exercises. Albert Ellis provides a salient story after part II about how he overcame numerous physical disabilities, both in the past and currently. Two appendixes provide perspective exercises (six exercises to help readers better understand the meaning of illness and/or disability in an individual's life) and personal perspectives (seven stories of courage despite severe physical limitations). Family members also give their insight. This book is valuable in the way it provides so many different perspectives. In chapter 35, the authors talk about eight myths that can influence individual and family expectations: 1. All illnesses and disabilities can be cured or prevented; 2. Restoration is more important than realistic acceptance; 3. Someone must pay; 4. The family and the individual will always appreciate medical intervention; 5. Unquestioning faith in the health care team and system; 6. Technology will provide all the answers; 7. My family will always be there for me because I was there for them; 8. If we are good to others and even provide financial assistance, caregiving, aid respite care, they will be good to us or respond in kind."
Assessment: This book provides excellent information along with many discussion questions, personal stories, and personal perspective exercises. It is practical, easy to read, and effectively addresses important questions about the impact of disability/illness on an individual and the family. The reader will not be disappointed with this volume. It is one of the best books I have ever read in this area.