Chronic Pain or Illness
Chronic pain is considered to be any pain that lasts longer than six months. Chronic pain might start with an injury or an illness, although many people suffer chronic pain without any past injury or evidence of illness. Chronic pain may come and go and can range from mild to agonizing. In addition to the physical symptoms, chronic pain can take an emotional toll. Individuals suffering from chronic pain are more likely to feel depressed, irritable or anxious and may experience other related symptoms, such as insomnia. If you are dealing with pain that won’t go away, a mental health professional can help you learn ways of coping.
Local Experts in Chronic Pain or Illness
I help clients live better with conditions their medical team is treating or with conditions that may not benefit from further treatment.
I am NOT a Chronic Pain specialist. I specialize in ILLNESS as follows: Cancer, HIV/AIDS, life-altering, life-threatening and life-limiting illness
Methods of treatment used are evidence-based, supported by research, and by the American Psychological Association (APA). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy are highly effective in living with pain and illness, so are the main methods I use in working with clients.
I was trained in and practiced as a massage therapist for years. As a part of the naturopathic community for 30+ years, I have been involved in many supportive roles in the profession. With a strong medical background, natural medicine and terminology, I am skilled at integrating physical and mental health issues. I use mindfulness and trauma processing to support balanced care.
As an Ayurvedic practitioner, I have extensive knowledge of the mind-body connection. I can help you identify potential mental and emotional sources that may be contributing to your physical symptoms, including functional somatic symptoms. I also have a special interest in the psychosocial factors that are affected by living with gastrointestinal disorders, such as IBS and SIBO.
I was previously trained as a nurse and recognize the role that chronic pain and illness can have on physical and mental health. There is a bi-directional relationship between body and mind. I can assist clients in understanding that connection and how to improve overall functioning even if the pain and/or illness are chronic conditions.
Living with chronic pain and illness is a battle that few understand. Getting through the day with debilitating symptoms, regular medical visits/testing, and/or the fear that a disease may progress (\'watchful waiting\') is emotionally AND physically debilitating. I understand this as both a therapist and a patient. Believe it or not, there is hope for thriving. I can help you get there.
I was first introduced to how medical pain & illness affects an individual and a system (family, work, etc) when I was trained in medical family therapy with medical residents from University of Connecticut. As a marriage & family therapist in graduate school, I shared clients with the medical residents and we worked together to integrate mind and body interventions. I integrate that work today.
I have worked with many people dealing with chronic/severe illnesses, either in themselves or a family member. I have also had success in helping people manage chronic pain without opiates and those in recovery from chemical dependency.
I understand that living with chronic pain or an illness doesn't just impact your body but it can impact many areas of you life - your relationships, how you feel emotionally, your activity level and ability, your thoughts and even your financial situation. All of this may cause you to feel hopeless. But you can become a healthier person and have a healthier quality of life. You are not alone.
Chronic Pain can be so frustrating and exhausting. It often leads to symptoms of depression and /or increased use of medication that can make the condition worse and lead to overuse. From my own experience with chronic pain as well as from working at a chronic pain management center, I have learned the pain management skills that appear to best provide relief and maximize functioning.
For the last 20 years, I have been working with patients with chronic pain and arthritis. Referred by physicians, patients want to explore all the resources that are available for improving their condition, be it interpersonal, emotional or cognitive.
Cancer survivors describe experiencing a range of emotions as well as times when feelings were difficult to identify. My work with people draws from what we know about survivors' experiences, while leaving room for an individual's own interpretation, meaning and means of coping during their cancer journey. My work has typically been with young adult survivors.
Chronic pain can be suffocating. The endless visits to providers, some of whom don't even trust that you are in the pain you describe. The loss of previous freedoms and activities. Physical pain can lead to depression, anxiety, and a sense of panic. There is evidence that therapy can reduce stress and therefore reduce and/or help pain. There are also specific skills I teach to help you cope.
Having gone through Lyme Disease, I understand the invisible suffering of chronic pain and illness. There is the condition you suffer and the fact that many people do not perceive or believe your experience. I work to support with all aspects of your what you are going through.
I specialize in supporting those rebuilding a life worth living as they adjust to a chronic diagnosis. Work includes acceptance, grief, behavioral changes to support wellness, uncovering changes in our basic needs and getting those needs met in new ways within self and in our family systems. Example diagnosis includes heart conditions,diabetes, lupus, fibromyalgia, bipolar, adult adhd...
Depression is often experienced as feeling separate from the world, as if you are all alone. Receiving healing with and among the natural world is the perfect antidote to feeling this way. Nature does not judge or impose. Nature models acceptance and love. At the nature retreat, you will not only feel inspired to think differently about yourself and your life, you will experience deep connection.
I have worked for 12 years in a medical setting supporting patients who have a wide variety of chronic and acute conditions. I have worked to prepare patients for bariatric surgery, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, transplant and supporting family members as well.
Navigating chronic illness along with mental health symptoms can be difficult, but you don't have to go it alone. I can help you utilize tools to successfully manage these conditions and have the best quality of life for you and for your family.
Working with clients dealing with chronic pain and illness is part of my experience in the area of grief and loss. Living with pain/illness is a loss of life as they knew it before - the process gives clients an opportunity to identify/discuss issues associated with their condition- to feel validated and supported; and to learn coping techniques.
In addition to being a somatic psychotherapist, I am also a yoga instructor and massage therapist. I bring elements of these practices to my therapy clients and find them particularly helpful for folks who are navigating chronic pain and illness. I have experience working with people living with chronic pelvic pain, traumatic brain injuries, lyme\'s disease, and fibromyalgia.
I have specific training and understanding of the physical and psychological impact of chronic illness and pain on one's emotional well being, interpersonal relationships, career, and financial stability. I can support you as you adjust to these challenges, assist you with identifying resources, and teach you techniques that may reduce stress and moderate your pain.