Over the last decades, medical research has shown that a significant predictor of good health, longevity, and overall well-being is the strength of our relationships with friends, family and community.

In Friendship Matters, the meaning of friendship is explored in the personal case study of two women, Dr. Wendy Rapaport and Dr. Sanda Bernstein, who have been friends for 47 years, as they examine the complexities of maintaining a good friendship through many ups and downs.  The book, a combination of memoir, life lessons and laughter, is a foray into understanding and further strengthening these ordinary yet extraordinary relationships.

A multitude of friendship studies revealed the critical role friendships render on emotional health, as well as physical health. Harvard researchers found “the people in the strongest relationships were protected against chronic disease, mental illness and memory decline.”

For the authors and many others, these friendships have spanned the test of time and have been a sustaining form of sustenance as friends experience marriage, divorce, parenting, career changes, financial challenges, illness, loss, growth, uncertainty, elation and much more. In her work with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, Dr. Rapaport has always matched her patients with “friends” to help guide them through their diagnosis and the lifestyle changes necessary to prosper.

Authors, Dr. Wendy Rapaport and Dr. Sanda Bernstein are both clinical psychologists who use the example of their own friendship to explore the power of this connection.  Friendship takes work, but it should be celebrated for the ways it can improve our lives and help us grow.

For more information on the book and authors, visit www.friendshipmattersbook.com

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