“Above all, a sufferer needs a way of talking about the pain – permission to talk about it – without feeling judged, without the implication that you lack moral fibre, or are exaggerating.”
Hilary Mantel, Booker Prize winning author
I have a chronic illness
If you’re reading this, it is likely you have experienced the feeling that no one really understands what you’re going through, even the people closest to you. These feelings are common for people living with chronic illness and can contribute to adverse health outcomes.
Why work on your relationship?
Good relationship health is fundamental to overall wellbeing and working to improve your most important relationships can have positive health outcomes.
All couples experience hard times to some degree and research shows people in happy, satisfied relationships, have better health outcomes than people living in unhappy marriages (Gottman, 1999, p4). The opposite is also true, that bad relationships are bad for you.
Common complaints from people in relationships and what couples typically seek counselling for include:
- Becoming emotionally distant from each other
- Experiencing the “spill-over” of other stresses such as managing a chronic illness
- Keep getting stuck on one or more issues
- The relationship is becoming passionless – the ‘fire’ is going out
- There are problems in our sex life
Expert commentary – Dr Toby Newton-John, Clinical Psychologist and Senior Lecturer, University of Technology, Sydney
In this video, Dr Toby Newton-John, Clinical Psychologist shares his practice wisdom and offers practical strategies for addressing relationship health when working with people living with chronic illness.
Liz’s story – Learning to accept help and communicate my needs
Liz, in her late 50’s, has been living with chronic illness for the past 10 years. Forced into retirement early, Liz shares how relationship counselling has helped her and her long term partner to keep their relationship strong.
Download the tip sheet: Living with a chronic illness
For additional resources, please visit our ‘My Client‘ Page.
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