Psychotherapy With Cardiac Patients: Behavioral Cardiology in Practice
For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories
Heart disease is the leading cause of the death in the United States, and those who experience cardiac events suffer a wide range of psychological sequelae. Yet, few books show psychotherapy practitioners how they can modify their techniques to accommodate the unique needs of this population.
In this book, the author, an experienced hospital-based psychologist, provides an orientation to this specialization and, drawing on a variety of therapy models, describes empirically-supported intervention strategies. After providing an overview of the cardiovascular system, she discusses lifestyle and psychological risk factors for heart disease. Subsequent chapters cover practical techniques for helping patients overcome depression, anxiety, and hostility, all factors that complicate recovery. A final group of chapters addresses factors that affect treatment effectiveness, such as substance abuse problems, overweight, and sex differences. Case illustrations are provided throughout.
I. Understanding Behavioral Cardiology
- Exploring the Heart
- Risk Factors and Perceptions of Risk for Cardiovascular Disease
- Emotions and the Heart
II. Psychosocial Factors and Cardiovascular Disease
- Anger and Hostility
- Interpersonal Relationships and Social Support
- Coping With Chronic Heart Disease
- Existential Issues, Heart Transplant, and End-Stage Cardiac Disease
III. Special Topics in Behavioral Cardiology Care
- Addictions to Cocaine, Alcohol, or Cigarettes
- Morbid Obesity
- Psychotropic Medications
- Sex Differences
Conclusion: The Practice of Behavioral Cardiology
About the Author
Ellen A. Dornelas, PhD, is director of behavioral health programs for the Henry Low Heart Center at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut, and an associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine in Farmington. Dr. Dornelas received her doctoral degree in the health psychology program at Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University, New York, and postgraduate psychotherapy training through the Connecticut Center for Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy in Glastonbury. Dr. Dornelas has devoted her career to adapting psychotherapeutic approaches to meet the needs of the cardiac population by providing direct service, training psychologists in the practice of behavioral cardiology, and conducting clinical research focused on behavioral approaches to cardiac risk-factor reduction.