The treatment outlined in this 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 tecniques 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 behaviours for select illnesses including cancer, HIV, diabetes, and hypertension, among others. The chapters detail adherence skills, integrated with cognitive and behavioural 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 behaviours that worsen their medical condition.
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Steven Safren is Director of Behavioral Medicine Service in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. Jeffrey Gonzalez is Clinical Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Naafisseh Soroudi is a Psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.
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