Complementary Medicine and Health Psychology

This unique book is the first to bring together the world of health psychology with that of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). The authors draw on their wealth of experience as health psychologists to explore the relationship between health psychology and CAM and look at how an understanding of one can be used to inform the other. Through an open-minded but rigorous approach to CAM, the authors identify where psychology can help to answer some crucial questions, such as why CAM sometimes appears to work, why sometimes it does not, and why some people are drawn to it and others not. Key topics covered include: models of the person health beliefs and experimental psychology placebo research methods in CAM stress, coping and stress management pain and chronic illness communications and interactions between client and therapist While CAM has often been dismissed out of hand by scientists, the authors maintain that it deserves attention as a psychological phenomenon alone, regardless of the actual efficacy as understood by existing research. This book's insightful observations on contemporary meanings of health and illness and the future of CAM and health psychology make it important reading for all psychologists and health professionals.