Emotional Health Aspect to Cardio Care
First of Its Kind in the U.S.
A key piece is often missing from standard cardio rehab, which includes better diet, more exercise and targeted medication. What’s that missing piece? Attention to mental health needs, including relation-ship problems and the fears, guilt and depression most heart patients face.
Healing Hearts Together (HHT), a relationship education program being launched in New Mexico by Life Change Psychotherapy Institute, PC, Albuquerque, will fill that treatment gap and help “cardiac cou-ples” who are experiencing emotional distress related to a cardiac event (including AFIB). The program addresses depression, stress, and anxiety and helps couples forge a more supportive relationship, which research indicates is key to recovery and prevention of future heart incidents.
Life Change Psychotherapy’s first eight-week HHT course will be Sept. 20, 2023 through Nov. 8, 2023, meeting weekly at local cardiac outpatient center Vessel Health, 10601 4th St. NW in Albuquerque. Each week, participants will share guided discussion and videos on specific HHT content with a small group of other cardiac patients and their partners.
Tricia Mckenna, Ph.D., psychologist, certified Emotionally Focused Therapy practitioner and Life Change Psychotherapy owner, is the force behind HHT being established in New Mexico. Joining McKenna as co-presenter is Sarah Lee, LMFT, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with more than 18 years of ex-perience in couples’ work.
No other program like this exists in the United States, says McKenna, who has more than 28 years’ expe-rience in behavioral health in Albuquerque. Adding the emotional component to cardiac treatment is long overdue.
“Mainstream medicine is becoming more aware of integrative care, and the role that emotions play in health problems. It’s time to treat the physical heart by also treating the ‘emotional heart’,” says McKenna.
HHT originated at Canada’s University of Toronto in 2017. It applies the concepts of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), a couples’ therapy system developed in by Drs. Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg. HHT goes a step further, applying these concepts to patients recovering from cardiac events.
Recent research indicates heart patients with strong emotional connections will recover to a greater degree, handle lifestyle risks better and have reduced probability of a future heart incident.
About Life Change Psychotherapy Institute, PC
For almost 28 years, Life Change Psychotherapy Institute, PC, has been a center for excellence in the therapeutic art and science of becoming a healthy human being. Its clinicians provide counseling and personal growth experiences through a variety of methods, including adult individual and couples therapy.
Most insurance plans accepted. For more information, go to www.lifechangetherapy.net.
Contact: Tricia Mckenna, Ph.D., or MJ Maher
Healing Hearts Together Course Details
• Meets weekly Sept. 20, 2023 – Nov. 8, 2023
• Eight 2-hour sessions.
• $950.00 per couple (Not covered by insurance at this time.)
• A limited number of scholarships will be available, based on need.
• Presented by Life Change Psychotherapy Institute at Vessel Health, 10601 4th St. NW.
• Call 505-271-5050 for free in-person assessment to see if HHT is a good fit.
Healing Hearts Together: Ground-Breaking Couples Program
Brings Emotional Health Aspect to Cardio Care