Case 7 Like a Leper (Venereal Disease)

  • Margaret E. Backman


The case studies that follow are based on several members of a genital herpes group, and illustrate the interaction of the psychological, social, and ethical issues associated with having a venereal disease. Psychological factors, including stress, depression, anxiety, and interpersonal problems, are thought to influence the course of genital herpes infections (Levenson, Hamer, Meyers, Hart, & Kaplowitz, 1987). To help patients deal with these psychological issues, the group therapy made use of a combination of psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral techniques. Sessions would start with imagery and relaxation exercises to help the patients relax and learn how to handle bodily stress, and then would move on to either assertiveness training, sharing of experiences, sharing of information, or role playing.


Sexual Encounter Genital Herpes Venereal Disease Interpersonal Problem Herpes Infection 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret E. Backman
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Office of Health ServicesBarnard College, Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryNew York University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

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