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The psychology of chronic illness - Robert Shuman

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The psychology of chronic illness - the healing work of patients, therapists, and families
Robert Shuman
Basic Books
UK Publication Date

With the onset of chronic illness, an individual and family’s world, previously taken for granted, is often undone. The actual and potential losses from illness impact on family, friends, physicians, therapists, nurses, and others in profound and unexpected ways. Through his own honest, personal account and the testimony of others, Robert Shuman takes us inside the illness experience to help us better grasp the daily inner lives of the ailing person and his or her family. As our aging population lives longer, chronic illness touches more and more of us. Whether as patient or parent, nurse or spouse, colleague or therapist, we need to have greater knowledge and understanding of the intricacies of chronic illness.Robert Shuman maps out the many dimensions of illness and invites the reader to explore its challenging terrain in a way that provides opportunities for self-discovery and reflection. In lyrical prose, he opens up new ways of thinking about the psychology of illness and healing. He suggests, for example, that illness symptoms can have a generative effect on a person’s imaginative and creative possibilities, and that the socially despised events of illness and disability offer new ways of being once sought through the work of religion. Drawing on the fields of behavioral and family medicine, medical anthropology and sociology, moral and bioethical philosophies, and family, existential, cognitive, Jungian, and archetypal psychotherapies, among others, The Psychology of Chronic Illness raises provocative questions for the professional caregiver as well as for those living with illness and disability.This book will help anyone touched by illness, personally or professionally, to support those living with chronic illnesses and disabilities; to cope with multiple impacts on work, relationships, social roles, individual dreams, and disappointments; to listen to and voice suffering and fears, grief and anger, questions of values and moral doubts; and to acknowledge loss and mourning as a ?common ground” that we all share. This book offerrs specific resources to the caregiver and aids the professional in his or her ethical obligation to give. Moreover, Shuman’s voice is one of compassion, reminding us how to hold on to or recover hope, meaning, and morale during times of affliction and distress.

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Keyword Index
Chronic diseases - Psychological aspects.
Country of Publication
New York (State)
Number of Pages

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