Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Psychotherapy is conducted by a trained, licensed or certified therapist (clinical psychologist, clinical social worker, marriage and family therapist, or psychiatrist). It offers an excellent opportunity to explore your feelings about your situation, identify problems in relating with your family, learn how to manage symptoms, or explore the challenges in coping with chronic illness. Though such therapy may be brief, it can have important benefits. One of the greatest benefits is improving your quality of life.
One of the challenges faced by CFS patients is the great deal of coping they have to undertake. CFS is very stressful. Therapy can be very helpful in reminding you to respect your limits, that symptoms are transitory, that healing is possible, and to follow through with self-help practices. By keeping all these challenges in perspective, the quality of your day-to-day living can be much improved over living in a state of constant despair or fear.
We know that psychotherapy can improve the quality of life. Can it influence the course of CFS? We do not know. There are no studies we can point to. The people who are involved in the process believe that it does help. Psychotherapy affects both lifestyle changes and reduces stress; both these factors promote recovery from CFS.
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