Treating Health Anxiety and Fear of Death: A Practitioner's Guide / Edition 1

Treating Health Anxiety and Fear of Death: A Practitioner's Guide / Edition 1

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by Patricia Furer, John R. Walker, Murray B. Stein
     
 

Never has our culture been more aware of personal and global health hazards, from both within and without. While most people may feel some anxiety in this regard, some have an unbearable sense of dread that prevents them from functioning.

Chronic health anxiety—heightened fears of illness, disease, and death—is a central feature of hypochondriasis, of

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Overview

Never has our culture been more aware of personal and global health hazards, from both within and without. While most people may feel some anxiety in this regard, some have an unbearable sense of dread that prevents them from functioning.

Chronic health anxiety—heightened fears of illness, disease, and death—is a central feature of hypochondriasis, of course, but can also present as depression, generalized anxiety disorder, OCD, and other diagnoses. Treating Health Anxiety offers the professional reader not only an understanding of this condition, but also an easily implemented cognitive/behavioral program for reducing fear of illness, overcoming the fear of death, and getting more enjoyment from life, including:

-Step-by-step coverage of the assessment process and therapy sessions

-Patient worksheets and self-monitoring forms

-Specific guidelines for treating health anxiety in children and the elderly

-Strategies for handling impasses and setbacks

-Up-to-date guide to pharmacotherapy for health anxiety.

As media attention to health issues increases, client fears of illness won’t go away any time soon. Treating Health Anxiety gives prescribing and non-prescribing clinicians (as well as the counselors and social workers who encounter the problem) the tools to reduce both the fears and the medical costs that so often accompany them.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780387351445
Publisher:
Springer New York
Publication date:
02/11/2009
Series:
Series in Anxiety and Related Disorders
Edition description:
2007
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
9.21(w) x 6.14(h) x 0.69(d)

Meet the Author

Patricia Furer, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and Associate Professor of Clinical Health Psychology at the University of Manitoba. Dr. Furer has been interested in health anxiety since graduate school and her doctoral dissertation was an examination of hypochondriasis in individuals with various anxiety disorders. Her current research interests include psychological treatments for health anxiety, and the role of safety behaviors and fear of death in the development of health anxiety. Together with Dr. Walker, she has published several papers and book chapters on health anxiety. In her clinical work, Dr. Furer provides cognitive-behavioral treatment for adults with various anxiety and somatoform disorders. She also enjoys providing clinical supervision to graduate students and residents in clinical psychology.

John R. Walker, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and Professor of Clinical Health Psychology at University of Manitoba. Dr. Walker is active in research, particularly in the areas of anxiety disorders and epidemiology. He supervises senior clinical psychology students in their training in research and treatment in the anxiety disorders area and provides individual and group treatment services himself. He started his career as a psychologist by working for three years as a school psychologist in the public school system. Currently he is principle investigator in a study evaluating a prevention-oriented program to assist parents in helping Kindergarten-age children who are particularly shy and fearful. Through his work with adults, adolescents and children he has developed a longstanding interest in health anxiety. He is an editor of a book titled Panic disorder and agoraphobia: A comprehensive guide for the practitioner (1991) and in 2001 he was coauthor of a self-help book with Dr. Murray Stein titled: Triumph over shyness: Conquering shyness and social anxiety.

Murray B. Stein, MD, MPH, FRCPC, is Professor of Psychiatry and Family & Preventive Medicine at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and Director of the Anxiety & Traumatic Stress Program at UCSD and at the Department of Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System. He graduated from the University of Manitoba and was a postgraduate trainee at the University of Toronto and at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. He subsequently completed a Master of Public Health degree at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. His research interests include the neurobiology, epidemiology, and treatment of anxiety disorders including social phobia, panic disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Dr. Stein has written or co-written over 250 peer-reviewed scientific articles on these topics, including publications in journals such as The Lancet, Journal of the American Medical Association, American Journal of Psychiatry, and Archives of General Psychiatry. His federally funded research includes studies of interventions for anxiety disorders in primary care, pharmacological approaches to treatment-resistant anxiety disorders, and functional neuroimaging research in anxiety and trauma-related disorders. Dr. Stein is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA), Scientific Chair of the NIH Interventions in Mood and Anxiety (ITMA) Review Group, a reviewer for numerous journals, and a member of the editorial boards of Depression & Anxiety, General Hospital Psychiatry, The Science World (TSW) Psychiatry, and Trends in Evidence-Based Neuropsychiatry.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments and Preface

PART I: UNDERSTANDING HEALTH ANXIETY

Chapter 1. Fear of Illness and Death

Chapter 2. Etiological Factors

Chapter 3. A Cognitive Behavioral Perspective

PART II: ASSESSMENT AND TREATMENT OF HEALTH ANXIETY

Chapter 4. Treatment of Health Anxiety: What Are the Choices?

Chapter 5. Assessment and Diagnostic Issues

Chapter 6. Overview of Cognitive Behavioral Treatment

Chapter 7. Response Prevention and Coping with Physical Symptoms

Chapter 8. Exposure to Feared Illnesses and Symptoms

Chapter 9. Cognitive Interventions

Chapter 10. Overcoming Fear of Death

Chapter 11. Satisfaction and Enjoyment of Life

Chapter 12. Pharmacological Treatment

Chapter 13. Troubleshooting and Coping with Setbacks

PART III: SPECIAL POPULATIONS

Chapter 14. Health Anxiety and Somatization in Children

Chapter 15. Health Anxiety in Illness and Aging

REFERENCES

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