Q&A Ask Dr. B.

Larry Berkelhammer, PhD

This question & answer column is for people living with chronic health challenges, who want to learn to increase the odds of improving their health by learning to live with mastery & wellbeing.

I invite you to post your questions in the comments box below and I will answer them on a future Friday in this column.

I post to this blog three times per week. Monday posts are articles I’ve written. Wednesday posts are interviews—mostly video. Friday posts now consist of your questions about living better with chronic health challenges, and my answers to them.

Someone recently asked me this question after one of my presentations:

Q. You’ve recommended psychotherapy—especially group psychotherapy as being good for health; please explain how that could help me live better with chronic illness, and what role does it play in health?

A. Emotional distress causes physiological stress. When emotional distress becomes chronic, the result is chronic physiological stress. Chronic physiological stress interferes with immune, endocrine, and cardiovascular function, predisposing us to many diseases. This is why experts like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Deepak Chopra, Dean Ornish, and many others have introduced various forms of stress-management. One of the greatest sources of emotional distress is found in interpersonal interactions and relationships in general. Group therapy equips the group members with the skills to look inward and to be able to step back from unhealthy ways of interacting with others, and to develop the skills to be able to listen empathically, and to authentically self-express in ways that are conducive to mutually beneficial interactions. 

This website is offered as a free public service, supplying information that has been found helpful to certain people living with chronic health challenges. No treatment is offered on this website. The advice is general, and may or may not apply to your individual situation, and is not a substitute for psychotherapy or medical treatment.

What questions do you have about how to live better with chronic health challenges?  Each Friday, I will answer your questions in Chronic Illness Q&A with Dr. B.

Just scroll down and type your question in the comment box and you’ll see my response to you in an upcoming Friday post.

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