6 Psychotherapy Questions for Medically Ill Patients

May 03, 2016

A brief psychosocial tool that offers compassionate, tailored care using existential neuroscience, a new perspective for conducting bedside psychotherapy.

 Helping a chronically ill patient who uses relational coping begins by assessing which types of relationships matter most and how, then reestablishing access to that relationship or reproducing its function by using members of the treatment team as proxies. These 6 questions can help to begin a conversation; they do not replace but complement other psychotherapeutic tools that can be implemented in brief encounters.Scroll through the slides for the discussion and questions.This slideshow article was originally posted 3/18/2016 and has since been updated.

References:

1. Singer T, Seymour B, O’Doherty J, et al. Empathy for pain involves the affective but not sensory components of pain. Science. 2004;303:1157-1162.
2. Tucker DM, Luu P, Derryberry D. Love hurts: the evolution of empathic concern through the encephalization of nociceptive capacity. Dev Psychopathol. 2005;17:699-713.
3. Griffith JL, Gaby L. Brief psychotherapy at the bedside: countering demoralization from medical illness. Psychosomatics. 2005;46:109-116.
4. Breitbart W, Gibson C, Poppito SR, Berg A. Psychotherapeutic interventions at the end of life: a focus on meaning and spirituality. Can J Psychiatry. 2004;
49:366-372.
5. Griffith JL. Locating personal spirituality through existential inquiry. Religion That Heals, Religion That Harms. New York: Guilford Press; 2010:81-95.
6. Griffith JL. Existential inquiry: psychotherapy for crises of demoralization. Eur J Psychiatry. 2013;27:42-47.

x