Evidence-based couple therapy for chronic illnesses: enriching the emotional quality of relationships with emotionally focused therapy
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CitationChawla, N., Kafescioğlu, N. (2012). Evidence-based couple therapy for chronic illnesses: enriching the emotional quality of relationships with emotionally focused therapy. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 23(1), 42-53. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08975353.2012.654080
Chronic illness affects couples' relationship dynamics, as well as individual functioning. A chronic illness may present a significant amount of stress for both the patient and partner. This article discusses the application of an empirically supported couples' therapy approach, emotionally focused therapy, to address relationship distress and individual functioning in the context of chronic illness. Two case examples show how couples can learn to enrich the emotional quality of their relationship; express their innermost feelings of fear, sadness, and loneliness to each other to expand their emotional experiences; and meet each others' needs for safety, comfort, and security, despite the limitations and challenges presented by chronic illnesses.