Helping Children and Families Cope with Parental Illness: A Clinician's Guide, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Helping Children and Families Cope with Parental Illness

A Clinician's Guide, 1st Edition

By Maureen Davey, Karni Kissil, Laura Lynch


268 pages

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pub: 2016-04-11
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When a parent or parental figure is diagnosed with an illness, the family unit changes and clinical providers should consider using a family-centered approach to care, and not just focus on the patient coping with the illness. Helping Children and Families Cope with Parental Illness describes theoretical frameworks, common parental illnesses and their course, family assessment tools, and evidence-supported family intervention programs that have the potential to significantly reduce negative psychosocial outcomes for families and promote resilience. Most interventions described are culturally sensitive, for use with diverse populations in diverse practice settings, and were developed for two-parent, single-parent, and blended families.


"This is a long-overdue look at the impact of a wide range of parental illnesses on children. The authors have ‘been there' in their own lives, and they bring compassion and insight to their discussion of how we can take the needs of children seriously when treating their parents."—William J. Doherty, PhD, is co-author (with Susan McDaniel and Jeri Hepworth) of Medical Family Therapy and Integrated Care.

"As a psychologist whose father had brain cancer when I was a teenager, I can attest to the long-lasting effects of a parent's illness on childhood and adult development, career choices, personal hopes and outlook. This wise book provides a clearly-lined road map for understanding and ameliorating the effects of such medical crises in the lives of families. Davey, Kissil and Lynch have synthesized key family-centered approaches to provide a pragmatic and durable framework for clinicians of all disciplines."—Barry J. Jacobs, PsyD, author of The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers

"It is hard to imagine a more informative and useful resource on the challenges of parenting in the face of serious illness. Helping Children and Families Cope with Parental Illness manages to be comprehensive and authoritative while also readable and practical with a human touch – quite an achievement! I was particularly impressed by how consistently and thoroughly it takes into account family illness in its cultural/racial/ethnic contexts. This book is an invaluable gift to the field."—Harry J. Aponte, MSW, LCSW, LMFT, HPhD, is in private practice in Philadelphia, and is a clinical associate professor in the Couple and Family Therapy Department at Drexel University, USA.

Table of Contents

I: Introduction and Theoretical Frameworks 1. Introduction Maureen Davey, Karni Kissil, and Laura Lynch 2. Maintaining a Family Focus: Utilizing Attachment Theory and the Family Systems Illness Model Laura Lynch II: Parental Illnesses 3. Parental Depression Laura Lynch 4. Parental Cancer Maureen Davey 5. Parental HIV Maureen Davey 6. Parental Multiple Sclerosis Karni Kissil 7. Parental Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Karni Kissil 8. Parental Diabetes Laura Lynch and Maureen Davey 9. Parental Cardiovascular Diseases Karni Kissil 10.Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Maureen Davey and Laura Lynch III: Interventions and Clinical Considerations 11. Needs Assessments and Clinical Tools Maureen Davey and Brianna Bilkins 12. Clinical Guidelines for Working with Parental Illness Laura Lynch 13. Evidence-supported Treatments for Parental Illness Maureen Davey 14.Parental Death and Grief Interventions Karni Kissil 15.Ethical Considerations Karni Kissil

About the Authors

Maureen Davey, PhD, LMFT, is an associate professor in the Department of Couple and Family Therapy at Drexel University. She has 20 years of clinical and research experience working with individuals, couples, and families coping with parental and childhood illnesses.

Karni Kissil, PhD, LMFT, is an AAMFT licensed clinical member with 20 years of experience as a clinician working with individuals, couples, and families in diverse practice settings.

Laura Lynch, PhD, is the Collaborative Healthcare Clinical Practice Educator in the Department of Couple and Family Therapy at Drexel University. She has worked with individuals, couples, and families within multiple medical and outpatient mental health settings, and most recently completed the Families, Illness, and Collaborative Healthcare Fellowship at the Chicago Center for Family Health.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / Couples & Family