Parkinson's Disease and Counseling
What Types of Counseling Are Available?
The following list briefly describes common types of counseling. These can be used together or alone, depending on your treatment plan.
Crisis intervention counseling. In cases of emergency (such as initial despair over diagnosis), the counselor will help you get through the crisis and refer you to further counseling or medical care, if needed. These services are provided by community health agencies, helplines, and hotlines.
Individual counseling. This is where you meet one-on-one with a counselor. Counseling often takes place in the privacy of the counselor's office. This type of counseling works well when problems come mainly from you and your thinking patterns and behaviors. Also, some problems are very personal and difficult to confront with others present. If you are experiencing depression, anxiety, or grief in dealing with your Parkinson's this type of counseling may be appropriate.
Family therapy. A diagnosis of Parkinson's disease can affect the entire family. If you are the primary provider in the home, there can be financial strain. If you are the homemaker, there may need to be adjustments in the distribution of chores. These everyday strains combined with the emotional effects of dealing with a chronic illness have an enormous impact on the family dynamic.
Family therapy can help family members resolve issues among each other. It can also help them adopt ways to help another family member cope better. Family members can learn how actions and ways of communicating can worsen problems. With help, new and improved ways of communicating can be explored and practiced.
Group therapy. In group therapy, you join a group to discuss problems together. A counselor guides the session. Members in the group often share the same problem, but not always. The group session provides a place where people can confide with others who understand their struggles. They also can learn how they see themselves and how others see them. Members gain strength in knowing that they are not alone with their problems.
Residential treatment. With this type of therapy, you would live at a treatment center. The length of stay can vary, depending on the treatment program and progress of therapy. A program can last more than a year or just a week or two. Settings include hospitals, home-like structures, and clinics.