Understanding AIDS: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals

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9781557982841: Understanding AIDS: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals
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One of the most difficult challenges for today's mental health professional is helping clients who have human immune deficiency virus (HIV) infection or who have gone on to a diagnosis of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). "Understanding AIDS" guides the reader through the complexities of the disease process, the course of medical treatment, and the psychological and social problems surrounding this dreaded illness. An expert from the Centre for AIDS Intervention Research at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Kalichman provides the most up-to-date information on how people cope with HIV-AIDS and how mental health professionals can assess and facilitate their adjustment. Based on a comprehensive empirical foundation with over 700 references and interviews with 63 people of diverse HIV-risk backgrounds, the book explores the roles of meaning, control, self-esteem, optimism and social support in life of the HIV-AIDS patient - including special considerations of women and minorities and a look at the impact of spirituality. A review of psychotherapteutic themes includes issues of confidentiality and risk-reduction counselling. As a foundation for mental health intervention, Kalichman provides a plain-English description of the biomedical aspects of HIV-AIDS, with a glossary of medical terms and medications. He discusses the psychological and social aspects - isolation, stigmatisation, employment problems - that accompany each medical phase of the illnes, identifying negative emotion and maladaptive behaviours. The wide-ranging implication of central nervous system involvement are highlighted. This comprehensive volume is completed by a directory of "hotlines" and other HIV-AIDs resources in the United States and a basic AIDS Knowledge Test for both professionals and clients. This should be a valuable resource for mental health care professionals.

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Seth C. Kalichman
Published by Amer Psychological Assn (1995)
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