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A Therapeutic Model for Supporting Families of Children with a Chronic Illness or Disability

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A therapeutic model for supporting families of children with a chronic illness or disability is described. The model presupposes that the chronic illness and/or disability of a child constitutes a trauma for the entire family. Method:

This paper describes a therapeutic model currently in practice and links it back to psychological dynamics addressed through the clinical interventions and the principles that underlie the model of service. Results:

Service delivery comprises the interventions; counselling, psychological first aid, projects, peer groups, parent mentoring, social events and community education. The model is family centred, non-illness specific, preventative, non-linear and flexible. Conclusions:

The interventions offered in the model aim to address the psychological dynamics of hope, empowerment, reconnection, coping/resilience and reframing.

Keywords: Chronic illness; child; counselling; disability; family; trauma

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Barwon Health Paediatric and Adolescent Support Service, 59 Sydney Parade, Geelong, Victoria 3220, Australia., Email:

Publication date: September 1, 2003


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