Does It Feel Like Your Life Is Totally Falling Apart As a Result of Chronic Illness?
Are you living in a constant state of overwhelm, unable to accomplish even the simplest tasks?
Are you dealing with uncertainty because your doctor has told you that you need to make major lifestyle changes in order to heal?
Have you been traumatized by events related to your illness, such as loss of functionality in your body, invasive medical procedures, or feeling terrified that your symptoms will return?
Chronic illness takes a huge toll on every area of your life. You may be in constant physical pain, wondering how you are going to make it through the day. You may be losing friends because you are always depressed and upset about what you are going through.
To make matters worse, you may be in an unsupportive relationship with a partner who is telling you “it’s all in your head.” Many people suffering from chronic illness say that all of the pleasure has gone out of their lives because they can no longer do the things that used to make them happy.
Coming To Terms with Your New Normal Can Be Really Hard
Did you know that one in two Americans has some kind of chronic health problem?
Given how common this is, it’s amazing that there isn’t more psychological support out there for people like you. The cost of chronic disease on mental and emotional health can be staggering. Mood disorders related to anxiety and depression often accompany chronic illness, and yet these issues frequently go unaddressed. Even when support is available, a lot of people avoid talking about their feelings about being sick. But the fact is, you can’t make it without support.
The good news is that when you get support from an experienced chronic illness therapist, you can learn how to manage your fears, organize your priorities and not feel so alone on your healing journey.
I Offer the Guidance You Need to Get Control of Your Life Again
Because of the overwhelm associated with most common chronic diseases, it can feel almost impossible to take a step back and figure out what to do. That’s where chronic illness counseling can help. I take the first session to get a broad overview of all the issues you are dealing with, so we can formulate a game plan for your healing. For instance, are you needing trauma therapy for some scary experiences you’ve been through, or do you need help talking to your spouse about your illness? Are you trying to figure out how to manage all of your commitments so you can focus on getting better, or do you just need a safe space to vent your feelings to someone who really understands? Whatever is going on, I can help you get focused on what is most important to you right now.
I am an experienced therapist who has had my own journey with chronic illness while trying to balance a marriage, family and career. I also have an extensive professional background in both individual trauma therapy and couples therapy. I therefore bring a unique combination of skills and experience that is well-suited to the challenges of chronic illness.
Here are the specific approaches I offer that can help you:
Telling Your Story: Having an unconditionally-supportive space to tell your story is a critical part of being able to integrate your experience and move forward. I can help you identify your losses and honor what is changing in your life, so you can meet your challenges with a renewed sense of meaning and acceptance.
Healing from Trauma: Trauma happens when an experience overwhelms your nervous system, leaving you feeling frozen, terrified or shut-down. You may have experienced a traumatic event related to your illness.
Clearing those barriers out of the way will free up your mind and your emotions, giving you the energy you need for continued healing. I will also show you how to reconnect with your body, so you can experience it as a resource, a place of strength and calm, even though you may be experiencing chronic pain or fatigue.
To learn more about my approach to working with trauma, please click here.
Planning Your New Life: I can help you create a low-demand lifestyle where you can make your healing the top priority. Together, we will look at your unique situation, get creative and resourceful and come up with new coping strategies.
Working with Your Spouse:
Chronic illness can place a tremendous strain on your relationship with your partner. You may feel that your spouse just doesn’t understand what you are going through. You may worry that you’re too much of a burden. Reducing the interpersonal stress in your relationship is critical to your healing. Working with you and your spouse, I can show you how to foster and maintain a healthy relationship even in the midst of chronic illness.
To learn more about my approach to working with couples, please click here.
But you may still have questions about chronic illness counseling…
I Already Have So Many Medical Appointments. Won’t Adding Counseling Be Too Much?
Research tells us that when we are under too much stress, our bodies simply don’t heal. You need support, both inner and outer, for healing to take place. Chronic illness counseling is a great way to create that support in your life.
I’m Already Spending So Much Money on All of These Therapies. I Only Want to Get Counseling If I Know It’s Really Going to Help
Taking the time to invest in your mental health now is going to save you money in the long run. Part of our work together is about helping you get clear on your priorities, so you can use your resources—including your financial resources—in the best way possible.
I’m Barely Able to Function As It Is. What If I Don’t Have the Energy to Deal with My Anxiety and Depression?
You may be holding onto past pain, fear or trauma that is making it difficult to bring about the improvements you want to see in your health. I provide a compassionate and confidential environment for you to work through any issue that may arise.
When you take the time to learn ways to manage stress, release trauma, and strengthen your relationships, you build new resources that make your physical healing process infinitely more effective. Chronic illness counseling is an important component of your overall wellness plan that is going to help you feel lighter and better able to cope with whatever challenges may come up along your journey.
Get the Inner Support You Need for Healing
I truly believe that all of life naturally moves toward wholeness. Chronic illness may seem like an endpoint, but there are blessings, even in the darkest lessons of our lives. I can help you not only cope with your new reality but find ways to feel happy and well, so you can start living your life again.
I invite you to download my free report to learn three simple steps you can take right now to cope with chronic illness. It may help answer questions about how to cope without counseling.
Click on the orange button below to set up your free 30-minute consultation so I can find out about your goals and how I can help.