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Adjustment and coping with health issues

The experience of being diagnosed and living with a physical health condition can be emotionally difficult and challenging.  It can be an ongoing process of adjustment as new changes and challenges arise.  There is a close and intertwined relationship between our mind and body  - our physical health affects our emotions and our emotional health affects physical health. Our emotional health (e.g. stress) can sometimes impact on our physical symptoms also. This is not to say that psychological problems are the cause of someone's health issues, just that they may contribute and add an extra layer of difficulties. 

A physical health condition can impact on someone's hopes and plans for the future as well as how they see themselves and their sense of identity. Sometimes the treatments and side effects may be difficult to manage and cope with. In addition, some conditions are more stigmatised than others, therefore leading to people feeling ashamed or embarrassed about their condition. This can make it difficult to be open with others and to get support. 

Types of problems:

  • adjusting to a new diagnosis

  • managing emotional health and coping

  • coping with treatment

  • impact on relationships and communication

  • concerns about body image changes

I have a particular interest in working with people who have physical health issues (e.g. skin, hair or surgery issues) that affect their body image or lead to appearance-related concerns. 

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