Cystic Fibrosis Quality of Life Program

The Cystic Fibrosis Quality of Life Program helps improve the quality of life for those who have been affected by cystic fibrosis (CF) along with their caregivers and family members. The program is the result of collaboration between Stanford Family Medicine and Sofia University (formerly the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology). You can receive support and counseling at the Community Center for Health & Wellness in Palo Alto.

For those who are unable to make it to our center, we also provide support over the phone and internet. Fees are based on a sliding scale, so no one will be turned away because they are unable to afford our services. Click here for our informational packet.

Helping Families

We recognize that taking care of a family member with cystic fibrosis can be challenging and stressful. Family members often take on the daily physical demands of treatment and also serve as the primary sources of emotional and social support. Less stress within the family system has been shown to create better patient outcomes.

Our staff at the Community Center for Health & Wellness recognizes the importance of how a healthy family as a whole is integral to confronting CF. Our staff is not only trained in proving counseling and services to those affected by CF, it is also trained in providing therapy to families as well. Click here for our informational packet.

Adolescence

Adolescence can be a challenging time for anyone and for adolescents with cystic fibrosis, there are a number of special issues that can arise. These adolescents may struggle with finding their place in a community of peers, dealing with the potential for loneliness and isolation, and developing their independence in a way that enhances their psychological and physical health. Counseling for adolescents can help them get and stay connected to their community while also assisting them in development of a healthy sense of independence as they look forward to participating in school, career, and their own adult lives.

If you are unable to find support in your local community, you’ll find counseling for adolescents at the Community Center for Health & Wellness (CCHW). Click here for our informational packet.

Depression

Given the stressors associated with cystic fibrosis, individuals often experience symptoms of depression and anxiety. Depression and anxiety are serious illnesses that can impact a person’s mind, body, and spiritual well-being, as well as their capacity for daily functioning. Professional treatment which may involve medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of both – is often required for depression and anxiety disorders. A professionally-trained therapist can help bring joy back into life for individuals and families coping with the challenges of CF.

If you are unable to find support in your local community, depression is commonly treated at the Community Center for Health & Wellness (CCHW). Click here for our informational packet.

Anxiety

Patients with cystic fibrosis and their families and care givers often endure stress that can easily elevate to the level of disruptive anxiety. In general, an adaptive amount of anxiety actually provides one with the motivation to complete important activities such as work or school projects. However, a person or family dealing with CF may experience an amount of anxiety that is disproportionate to “normal” life stressors and interferes with their everyday functioning. In this case, the person may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.

If you are unable to find the help and support you need for anxiety in your community, visit the Community Center for Health & Wellness (CCHW). CCHW trained staff is aware of the many stressors associated with CF. Click here for our informational packet.

Exercise and Health

Exercise is considered to be a valuable tool for individuals affected by CF because it provides a natural form of chest physiotherapy. Activities such as running, jogging, aerobics, bicycling, swimming, and tennis are all examples of exercise that can benefit a person with CF. Exercise stimulates coughing, helping to remove mucus from the lungs. Finally, exercise improves cardiovascular health by strengthening the heart and improving blood pressure.

You’ll find more information about exercise for individuals with CF in ourinformational packet.

Spirituality

The ability to find meaning, refuge, and comfort through spirituality and religion, can be very helpful when dealing with a chronic disease such as cystic fibrosis. Many patients, family members, and caregivers, rely on spiritual or religious beliefs and practices to help them live with chronic diseases. The Community Center for Health & Wellness (CCHW) is rooted in transpersonal psychology, which is widely recognized as the modern bridge between psychology and spirituality. We acknowledge the role and healing potential of spirit in the lives of our CF patients and their families. We are clinically trained in supporting individuals with CF and their families in any spiritual or religious practice — or wish to develop.

If you are unable to find support in your local community, contact the Community Center for Health & Wellness.  Click here for our informational packet.

Sorrow and Grief

For individuals living with CF, chronic sorrow and grief can be a significant and pervasive experience of life, impacting one’s psychological and emotional wellbeing as well as affecting one’s health. The continuity of these experiences over the course of the CF patient and family’s lifetime can substantially increase stress, as well as despair. Additionally, although CF patients may function and adapt well while bearing the intense sorrow and grief of losing friends, it is possible that their health will decline, just as feelings of alienation and isolation is often magnified.

If you are unable to find the help and support you need, the Community Center for Health & Wellness can support CF community members in working with chronic sorrow and grief. We are committed to offering supportive services that understand and recognize the impact on each individual’s wellbeing. Click here for our informational packet.