Shared Experience of Illness: Stories of Patients, Families, and Their Therapists

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In the narrative of every human life and family, illness is a prominent character. Even if we have avoided serious illness ourselves, we cannot escape its reach into our circle of family and friends. Illness brings us closer to one another through caregiving and separates us through disability and death, yet little attention has been paid to personal and family illness in psychotherapy. Rather, therapists tend to focus on the psychosocial realm, leaving the biological realm to other physicians and nurses.This ...

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Overview

In the narrative of every human life and family, illness is a prominent character. Even if we have avoided serious illness ourselves, we cannot escape its reach into our circle of family and friends. Illness brings us closer to one another through caregiving and separates us through disability and death, yet little attention has been paid to personal and family illness in psychotherapy. Rather, therapists tend to focus on the psychosocial realm, leaving the biological realm to other physicians and nurses.This groundbreaking volume shows the powerful benefits that can emerge when therapists acknowledge illness as a vital part of everyone’s psychology. Susan H. McDaniel, Jeri Hepworth, and William J. Doherty invited therapists who work with individuals and families experiencing chronic illness and disability to describe clinical cases that illustrate their approach to medical family therapy. Contributors then were asked to share a personal story about their experiences with illness, and to explain how those experiences affect the way they work with their clients.Vivid case studies dealing with a range of illnesses, including cancer infertility, schizophrenia, AIDS, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, and multiple sclerosis, show how the therapists’ own experiences of illness are relevant to their care of others—and how these experiences can be used to form a healing bond in therapy.As we head toward a new century, therapists play a central role in the delivery of comprehensive healthcare. We now know that psychology and social factors have a direct effect on the development and exacerbation of illness and disease, and that involvement of the family with the healthcare team is vital. Poignant, honest, and illuminating, The Shared Experience of Illness allows us to understand more fully the relationship between the personal and the professional. This invaluable work provides inspiration and insight for anyone working at the cuttifng edge of our healthcare system.

Topics incl. dealing with renal failure, finding the person in dementia, caring for the terminally ill, etc.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465091973
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 3/28/1971
  • Pages: 400

Meet the Author

Susan H. McDaniel, Ph.D., is professor and director of the Division of Family Programs in Psychiatry and co-director of Psychosocial Programs in Family Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. She lives in Rochester, New York. Jeri Hepworth, Ph.D., is professor, associate residency director, and director of Behavioral Sciences in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center. She lives in Willington, Connecticut. William J. Doherty, Ph.D., is professor of Family Social Science and director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at the University of Minnesota. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. Susan H. McDaniel, Ph.D., is professor and director of the Division of Family Programs in Psychiatry and co-director of Psychosocial Programs in Family Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. She lives in Rochester, New York. Jeri Hepworth, Ph.D., is professor, associate residency director, and director of Behavioral Sciences in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center. She lives in Willington, Connecticut. William J. Doherty, Ph.D., is professor of Family Social Science and director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at the University of Minnesota. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. Susan H. McDaniel, Ph.D., is professor and director of the Division of Family Programs in Psychiatry and co-director of Psychosocial Programs in Family Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. She lives in Rochester, New York. Jeri Hepworth, Ph.D., is professor, associate residency director, and director of Behavioral Sciences in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center. She lives in Willington, Connecticut. William J. Doherty, Ph.D., is professor of Family Social Science and director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at the University of Minnesota. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 The Shared Emotional Themes of Illness 1
2 Whispers of Illness: Secrecy Versus Trust 13
3 A Birth Gone Awry 23
4 Working Together to Get Control: Treating Encopresis 30
5 The Child in the Therapist and the Old Man in the Child: Psychosomatic Symptoms and Children 38
6 "So That They Don't Need Me Anymore": Weaving Migration, Illness, and Coping 48
7 The Girl Who Went on Strike: A Case of Childhood Diabetes 58
8 Two Families, Two Stories: Courage and Chronic Illness 73
9 A Double Life: Adolescent Trauma 82
10 Controlled Bleeding: Counseling Hemophiliacs 93
11 Infertility: A Couple and a Therapist Consider the Meaning of Children 102
12 Mothering Without a Mother: Pregnancy Loss 113
13 Facing Yourself in Your Work: A Young Man with Head and Neck Cancer 120
14 Coming to Peace: Dialogues on Survival, Suffering, and Death 128
15 A Journey with Hope, Fear, and Loss: Young Couples and Cancer 139
16 The Family Left Out and the Family Included: Two Outcomes for "Schizophrenia" 151
17 The Two-Way Mirror in My Therapy Room: AIDS and Families 163
18 "Do You Need to Know?": Genetic Testing for Huntington's Disease 173
19 Multiple Illnesses, Repeating Nightmares 184
20 Can Anyone Help Me? The Story of a Woman with Breast Cancer 195
21 The Denial of Death: A Case of Stomach Cancer 205
22 The Feminization of a Medical Marriage: Collaborative Opportunities in Cardiac Rehabilitation 213
23 Mothers Aren't Supposed to Get Sick: A Case of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder 222
24 When It Never Stops Hurting: A Case of Chronic Pain 231
25 On Not Taking Illness Too Seriously: Aging with Diabetes 242
26 Turning Powerlessness into Opportunity: A Case of Bipolar Affective Disorder 251
27 Multiple Sclerosis, Beliefs, and Families: Professional and Personal Stories of Suffering and Strength 263
28 Trapped Inside a Body Without a Voice: Two Cases of Somatic Fixation 274
29 Coping with an Insoluble Problem: Renal Failure 291
30 Unspeakable Pain: The Impact of Stroke on the Family 300
31 Finding the Person in Dementia: Experiences in a Group for Persons with Alzheimer's Disease 313
32 A Lesson on Love: Caring for the Terminally Ill 325
33 "He's Sick, but I'm the One Who Hurts": Our Work with a Medically Ill Older Couple 334
34 Learning from My Grandmothers: A Case of Polymyalgia Rheumatica 344
35 Rigidity in the Family: A Case of Parkinson's Disease 351
Contributors 358
Index 365
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