An Adaptive World Model for Meeting the Demands of Chronic Illness
For family members to learn the role each plays when one person in the family has a chronic illness, they must not neglect the role that the illness plays in the family. The objective of this chapter is to outline an intervention that shows family how to learn about and navigate these roles. Recent research has shown that: (1) helping families share their personal illness story, (2) family-experience genograms, (3) facilitating family reorganization with illness psychoeducation, and (4) shared experience building are all effective ways to address the affective demands of illness. Using these approaches, therapists are better able to assess additional areas of concern regarding where the patient and family members are in their adaptation to the illness, and to then facilitate growth through altered perceptions, expectations, experiences, and/or behaviors.