Clinical Issues for Working with Patients and Family Members Dealing with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Connie S. Cornwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article is based on a clinicians personal experience working with patients and family members dealing with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Two key issues for a clinician to consider in working with this population is the constant overshadowing of grief as the patient experiences loss of body functions over time, and the need to find personal meaning in the experience of this disease. Families fit into two main types and their specific needs for intervention and support are discussed. Differentiation is made between primary and secondary caregiver, and the danger of primary caregiver spiraling down the cycle of burden, a dyadic relational process leading to burnout.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-66
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Family Psychotherapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2 2016



  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • clinical issues
  • couple
  • family
  • patient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology

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