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Chronic Illness With Couples and Families

The impact(s) of chronic illness—characterized as any incurable and ongoing disease or condition—can be both profound and far-reaching. This is an important issue for mental health providers serving in contemporary health care systems, insofar as individuals, couples, and families can bear significant medical, emotional, relational, and social burdens when facing it. Approximately half of all adults in the United States—more than 117 million people—currently live with at least one chronic health condition, and 25% report two or more. This already widespread prevalence is increasing fast, too, as technological advances and improved quality of care facilitate the aging of the population. Most training programs across disciplines (e.g., psychology, counseling, family therapy) do not equip new professionals to work effectively with patients who are living with a ...

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