Tamara McClintock Greenberg, PsyD
About the Book:
From Amazon: Dr. Tamara Greenberg offers hope and practical advice to those impacted by a loved one’s chronic illness. Providing easy-to-understand explanations for complicated feelings and behaviors, this book will help you not just cope, but thrive in your day-to-day life. Learn the important tools you need to help lighten the burden we all feel when someone we love is ill.
Since Bud has chronic anxiety and depression and I have had asthma my whole life, I was really looking forward to seeing what advice I could find in When Someone You Love Has a Chronic Illness that could help our family deal with our ever-present health problems. Unfortunately, the book is written more for caregivers of those with cancer or older-adult related chronic illnesses like heart disease and dementia. Still, I have watched and helped Art’s parents and my parents as they cared for their own parents with chronic illnesses, so I plunged back into the book with a slightly different mindset.
Each chapter of the book deals with a different aspect of caring for a loved one with a chronic illness and each chapter ends by summarizing the key points and offering references for further reading.
One of the most important themes that Dr. Greenberg repeats in different ways throughout the book is:
“If you don’t take care of yourself it will be much harder to care for others.”
She offers many helpful tips on talking to doctors, finding emotional support and knowing when to seek professional help. She also has some very practical tips on how to deal with chronic anxiety or PTSD brought on by extended caregiving. Some of these were tips I can use in my own life, especially on days when mine or Bud’s anxiety is high.
I did find the book to be a little disjointed with little natural flow between the chapters. I feel this book should probably not be read in chronological order, but one could look through the table of contents, find the chapter headings that are closest to their needs and read those.
When Someone You Love Has a Chronic Illness is a valuable resource for anyone who is aging or has aging loved ones (most of us).
I give When Someone You Love Has a Chronic Illness four deep breaths (for anxiety relief).
About the Author:
Tamara McClintock Greenberg, Psy.D., M.S., a licensed clinical psychologist, works with patients and family members affected by acute or chronic illness. She is an associate clinical professor and clinical supervisor at the University of California, San Francisco Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Greenberg has written three books and numerous chapters and articles on aging, illness, as well as issues pertaining to women. She writes for Psychology Today online and The Huffington Post. She also speaks to medical, psychological, and public audiences on the impact of illness, caregiving issues, and dealing with the modern medical system as a patient or loved one. She is in private practice in San Francisco.
Greenberg earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Hamline University in Minnesota and was awarded the prestigious Jacob Markovitz Memorial Scholarship to continue in the doctoral program at the Minnesota School of Professional Psychology. She graduated in 1997 with a doctorate in clinical psychology with a specialty in clinical health psychology.
Do you hear from your readers? What kinds of questions do they ask?
Actually, it would be great if I heard from readers more. I love to hear what people think. Blogging is an opportunity to hear from people. Though, since I sometimes blog about controversial topics the feedback can be highly negative, as that is the nature of blogs. Regarding my books, I sometimes hear from professionals, but these are often people who want to say positive things. Don’t get me wrong; I love praise and compliments, but I do wish I could hear from people about ideas I have that don’t work. I take criticism very seriously, but I don’t fall apart if someone does not like what I am saying. Especially with the work I do, I am translating tons of ideas I have heard over the years. And although I am considered an expert, that certainly does not mean I get everything right or understand issues from every point of view.
The best questions I have received have been those from radio and media interviews. The most challenging questions come from people who call into a radio show with a brief synopsis of a complex situation and want me to provide an answer. This is when it can be really hard to be an “expert”! It is tough to provide advice when you don’t know an entire situation. My sense of the culture of media these days is that people in my profession are expected to provide quick fix answers to complicated problems. If I have advice I can offer, I will do so readily; however, most problems require thought, time and consideration. The public may be misled about our abilities as psychologists. We can offer advice, but often, it takes a long time to understand individual problems and circumstances for us to offer the best and most complete help. We all have individual and unique histories, and so there is often not a “one size fits all” approach for many problems.
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I received a review copy of this book for the purpose of the interview thanks to Nurture Virtual Book Tourz. Regardless, all opinions are mine.