The personification of chronic physical Illness: Its role in adjustment and implications for psychotherapy integration

Golan Shahar, Sheera F. Lerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

We propose the term illness personification (ILL-PERF) as an organizing theme shedding light on the ways individuals live with, under, and outside of chronic physical illness. Drawing from multiple theoretical sources-object relations theory, social- cognitive theory, existential phenomenology and neuroscience-as well as from our own research program on chronic pain and systemic lupus erothemathosis (LSE), we argue that individual differences in the tendency to ascribe human characteristics to physical illness play an important risk/resilience role in illness-related disability and emotional distress. We then describe the way ILL-PERF might be incorporated into extant-and integrative-treatments of chronic physical illness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-58
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Psychotherapy Integration
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 13 Aug 2013

Keywords

  • Adjustment
  • Chronic-illness
  • Illness-personification
  • Psychotherapy

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