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    • #15545
      Ally
      Keymaster

      Although caregiving is a uniquely rewarding experience, it is also a very demanding role. Without proper support, caring for another person can take a toll on your physical and mental health. Burnout is a caregiver’s worst enemy, but resources like counselling can help you provide high-quality care and achieve emotional stability.

      Do you see a counsellor or attend a support group for caregivers? If you do, what impact have these supports had on your life? Do you think you are a better caregiver because you’re getting help, too?

      If you’re not accessing private counselling or support groups, why not?

    • #16559
      Todd Schmenk
      Participant

      In my position as a counselor, I can attest to the fact that many folks do go to counseling to help in supporting their efforts.  About a third of my practice is in helping those experiencing difficult thoughts and emotions related to their diagnosis.  Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is the typical approach I use in working with them and seems to fit the situation best since it follows closely the serenity prayer, courage to change what you can, the serenity to accept what cannot be changed and the wisdom to notice the difference.   There is also a growing body of research supporting this approach for this type of situation. ACT helps to increase psychological flexibility to be able to handle the situation you might find yourself within to the best of the situation and your ability.

      I also note that those who come in are typically those with the diagnosis, but for those who come in who are more in a supportive role, they also have reported back that the service was well worth their time.  Specifically, many had never considered building their own structure of support.  There is nothing wrong, when in a support role, in doing this action and in fact, it has been shown to increase the effectiveness of support for the main person with the challenging illness.

      The services are out there and an ACT therapist can offer a different approach to enhance and address your situation.  So why not look for one in your area and learn how to build your own team and get the support you need?

    • #16563
      Garrett McAuliffe
      Participant

      I am a person with Parkinson’s (PWP). I can attest to the value of acceptance and Commitment therapy (pronounced “ACT”).  It is a way of mindfully living in the present Within having a chronic condition or other life circumstance. It is very different from cognitive behavior therapy or CBT, which works on a much more shallow level trying to counter negative thinking. ACT goes right to the experiential heart of being with whatever is going on in our lives and not trying to change things that can’t be changed. It is just emerging and it is important that PWP’s Themselves experience ACT as well as caregivers.

      • #16570
        Todd Schmenk
        Participant

        Just following up on a question for how to find an ACT therapist. Places like Zencare and Psychology today tend to have a place where clinicians list whether or not they utilize ACT in their practice, but keep in mind that there is no certification for ACT and you will need to ask them whether they have worked with Steve Hayes, Russ Harris, and what other workshops they may have gone to. Also – if they are a member of the Association for Behavioral and Contextual Science (ABCS(they have a listing there of clinicians by region as well)).

        You can also dod a simple google search for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in my area”. Good news is that many of the hospital systems are beginning to look to ACT as a replacement or complement for CBT in that as the evidence grows, this is becoming a go to intervention supported by insurance coverage.

        Also – be on the look out for the use of metaphors (little stories) in session and more emphasis on what you might be experiencing at the moment or the whats and hows of the experience versus the why.

    • #16574
      Jean Mellano
      Participant

      Todd thank you for your invaluable post.   I am a firm believer in the serenity prayer and blogged about it.. https://slippedawayblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/26/acceptance-gratitude-and-attitude/

    • #16576
      Jean Mellano
      Participant

      Garrett thank you for your endorsement of counseling, especially ACT.  It seems to be the way to go

    • #17413
      Christine
      Participant

      I have an appointment with a Counselor, but not for another 6 weeks.  I am a caregiver, and my husband with Parkinson’s has an appointment at the same time with a different counselor.  I don’t know if that is going to work, as he has difficulty remembering, but we are giving it a try.  I am not sure what I am hoping for, but I need some support and some direction in how to stay positive, and how to deal with so many emotions.

    • #17429
      Mary Beth Skylis
      Moderator

      Christine, it’s awesome that you’re reaching out for support. My Dad has PD, and sometimes it can be really grueling to see the progression of the disease. And I love him,  and want to be there for him whenever he needs. But it’s ok for us to find support too. And in fact, I think it’s necessary that I do. I’ve been seeing a therapist for two years on a weekly basis. And sometimes it can be a tremendous relief to share your pain with a neutral party. It sounds like you’re doing all of the right things!

    • #17814
      Ally
      Keymaster

      This is really helpful information to have — thank you!

    • #19173
      Marilyn LaBarr
      Participant

      Yes I do, and have for several years because of the loss of family members. When Doug was diagnosed with Parkinsons it became even more important to have that support. Counseling helps me work through all the emotions I suppress at home so I can focus on being positive support for Doug.

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