Treating the Emotions
Treating the mind as well as the body, Cumberland’s staff teaches young people to recognize their emotional needs. Depression or other disorders may complicate a patient’s illness. Individuals may exhibit a specific pattern of self-destruction or behaviors that impede them from managing their chronic illness responsibly.
Intensive individual and group psychotherapies address each patient’s unique emotional and behavioral issues. Each patient participates in weekly Chronic Illness Group sessions to discuss the emotional affects and adjustment problems that can accompany an ongoing illness or injury. A major focus is to develop compensatory and coping skills. Topics include:
- Anger management
- Body image
- Peer pressures
- Healthy sexuality
Other groups may include Community Group, which involves discussions concerning interactions on the living unit; Process Group, which encourages acceptance of one’s disease; Experiential Group, which focuses on trust-building using positive successes on the outdoor ROPES course, and Stress and Relaxation Group.
Specific chronic illness educational groups focus on attitudes and individual cognitive problem-solving skills. For example, patients with spina bifida or other neurological challenges learn compensatory skills to assist with their memory and learning problems.