Hanging onto a Heartbeat: Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples Dealing with the Trauma of Coronary Heart Disease

  • H. B. MacIntosh
  • S. M. Johnson
  • A. Lee


Our understanding of trauma is expanding as clinical vignettes gradually flesh out the bones of the DSM-IV’s narrow definition [1]. Threat of loss of life is central to all definitions of trauma and is a pivotal element to the experience of cardiac events such as myocardial infarctions (MI) in coronary heart disease (CHD). The threat of loss is not only experienced by patients but is also vividly and vigilantly lived by the partners who watch and wait in waiting rooms and by bedsides hanging onto the every heartbeat of the person with whom they share their life and love. The majority of patients who suffer myocardial infarctions are married men under the age of 70 [2].CHD is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, with 14 million people living with CHD and 1.5 million new MIs each year [3].


Coronary Heart Disease Cardiac Rehabilitation Secure Attachment Coronary Heart Disease Patient Couple Relationship 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. B. MacIntosh
    • 1
  • S. M. Johnson
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • A. Lee
    • 5
  1. 1.Faculty of Human SciencesSt. Paul UniversityOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Ottawa UniversityOttawa
  3. 3.Ottawa Couple and Family Institute and Center for Emotionally Focused TherapyOttawaCanada
  4. 4.Alliant USan DiegoUSA
  5. 5.Ottawa Couple & Family InstituteOttawaCanada

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