Application of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in Caring Persons with Chronic Illness
1) Sojan Antony, 2) A Thirumoorthy, 3) K Janaki Raman
(1 & 3) Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatric Social Work, NIMHANS, Bengaluru and (2) Professor & Head, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatric Social Work, NIMHANS, Bengaluru
Persons with Chronic Illness suffer physically and mentally. Chronic nature of illness causes stress to the person. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is useful in reducing negative thoughts and emotions, and increasing desirable behaviour in stress-related mental health problems. A person with chronic illness thinks that it is impossible to live with chronic health problems initially. It takes time to develop relatively healthy coping. Such difficulty in coping with emotions and solving problems affect their mental health. Professional Social Workers are trained in CBT. Techniques used in CBT, such as ABC analysis, relaxation training, substituting negative thoughts with positive thoughts, and nurturing the process of learning adaptive behaviour are likely to enhance the quality of life among persons with chronic illness. Chronic health problems such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, kidney diseases, liver diseases and chronic mental health disorders pose challenges to individual’s social functioning. To adapt to the illness, the person has to learn a new lifestyle. For example, the person with diabetes starts doing exercises and regulates the use of carbohydrate. Caregivers including professional social workers can use conditioning techniques and reinforcement strategies to accelerate the momentum of adaptation among persons with chronic illness.
**Presented in Almoners 2018, National Conference for Professional Social Workers, on 7 February 2018, Organized by Medical Social Work, Amala Institute of Medical Sciences, Thrissur, Kerala, India.