© 2019 By Todd Schmenk.

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Team Positive: How to Build Support for Someone Coping with Chronic Illness

This work is a compilation of approaches and experiences that has evolved in my time as a helping professional, first as a Health Educator, then as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor.  Many of the tools and approaches have been used in clinical sessions and even in my own family setting in dealing with a chronic illness.

The Team Positive approach addresses how to cope with a health condition and build and provide compassionate support whether it is you or a loved one that is dealing with such a condition like cancer, Crohn’s, diabetes, or any overwhelming health or mental health condition. 










Inside you will discover:

  • The healing power of a team

  • Building a pyramid of support

  • Ways to manage your energy

  • How to deal with personal barriers

  • Coping skills that address distress

  • What to do & What NOT to do

These are the frameworks, concepts, rules, and tools that have had the best results and feedback from all that have used them.  The book focuses on both the person dealing with the chronic illness as well as those in a supportive role, from a partner to a relative, a friend to a clinician.  It describes how best to engage, what you can expect, and what to say and do along with what not to say or do.


Along with this, I am in the process of building on online web-site: www.BeTeamPositive.us 

which will act as a resource center as well as a community for further ongoing support.  It will also have bonus material (the other examples that did not make it into the book), worksheets, and videos intended to provide further aid to the team’s efforts.


The initial reason I began to write this book was that I wanted to be able to hand a book like this to those I work within a clinical setting.  I also wanted to work with my family, specifically my father, but I made sure to include anyone who had anything to say about the process, in creating this book.  My father and I have been toying around with this idea ever since he wrote his memoir, Living Life 90 Days at a Time: A Sarcoma Survivors Journey, back in 2016 and we finally decided to sit down late last year and make it happen.  Now we have!!


Finally – one of the issues I have often find myself grappling with is in meeting so many people out there dealing with a chronic issue, but not having the time to be able to work individually with each one of them.  I wish it was possible, but it is not.  A book offers me a way of getting this message out to more than the 22-28 people I can squeeze into appointments each week.  I think this is the next best thing and with the support website online, I think the whole effort will be more meaningful, effective, a reach a much larger audience in a time of need.

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