Therapy for Chronic Illness

Therapy-Chronic-IllnessDo you feel betrayed by your body? Whenever you make plans, does your body ultimately fail to deliver? Perhaps you’ve recently received a devastating disease diagnosis, been told that there is no cure, and you’re trying to figure out what to do next. Do you live in fear of the next outbreak of fatigue, pain, infection or other flair ups related to your chronic illness? Or maybe you dread the next sign that your chronic disease is advancing or reoccurring. Are you worried that your condition is taking a negative toll on your relationships with loved ones, friends and cohorts? Do you find yourself constantly worrying that you are wearing loved ones out with your limitations and need for accommodation? Do you have to refuse so many invitations that you fear that they will stop coming? Perhaps the seemingly endless list of doctor appointments stress you out. Do you wish you could feel optimistic and more like yourself again?

It’s Okay To Feel Lonely and Afraid

It’s perfectly normal to feel lonely and afraid in the midst of coping with a chronic illness. In fact, it’s also perfectly okay to be scared of the disease itself and worry about how it will affect many aspects of your life. Learning to live with a chronic illness has several stages. First, there are the endless efforts to find someone who can tell you what is wrong. Then once you are finally accurately diagnosed, there is a usually long period of learning about your condition, grieving, and coming to terms with what the illness means for your life. The final stage is accepting the changes that you need to make to live an effective life. This is where I can help. I can work with you as you navigate these difficult stages, and together we can map out a plan that works best for your situation. As a trained psychotherapist, I can help you to meet your specific needs as it relates to the emotional toll that chronic illness is taking on your life.

There Is Hope 

If you want to feel more like yourself again, the good news is that you can. Having a chronic illness does not have to mean that you cannot live a fulfilling life. I can help you cope with the effects of chronic illness. Together, we can determine your hierarchy of needs and discover the best ways to address each of them so that each day you can get closer to enjoying the fulfilling life that you can have.

What To Expect

Chronic illness is as individual as the person it impacts. I have found that it is a mistake to assume that I know what your experience is, so the first thing I do in our chronic illness therapy sessions is to gain an understanding of you and your specific circumstances. Sometimes this means me developing an in-depth understanding of your diagnosis. More importantly, however, I seek to know what chronic illness means for your life. I want to know what meaning that you make of it and what you want and worry about most.

I was touched recently when a client mentioned me in a blog post. She said I was the first person to delve deeply and ask specifically about her experience with her illness. She said nobody else had ever wanted to know. As with this client, I want to know about your personal experience with chronic illness too, so that together we can chart a path, however harrowing it might be, to a more satisfying life. Another former client told me that after she recovered from a life-threatening cancer, she found a new commitment to what is truly important in life. She is less upset by little things and aims to “bathe in gratitude” every day. Whether you are struggling with cancer or an autoimmune disorder or multiple disorders and limitations, there is life on the other side. I can help you get there – no matter how severe the chronic illness.

But you may still have questions and concerns about chronic illness counseling. . .

What good can therapy do? You can’t cure me.

It’s true – I can’t cure the physical side of the ailment that you are dealing with, but there is hope for healing from the emotional pain that you are struggling with. Together we can find your inner resources for coping with your condition. We can talk about the impact that it has on your relationships and explore ways to help your friends and family better understand what is happening to you. We can also look at how your illness is affecting your connection to life and how you can express your life purpose.

One more appointment is more than I can handle.

Maybe you’re concerned that you don’t have the stamina for counseling.   Sometimes it might take all your effort just to get out of bed or make it through your day. I understand how overwhelming it can feel to add yet another appointment to your already overwhelming schedule. However, our sessions just may be the one safe place where you are able to explore your own feelings and talk about how your life is changing. I want to offer a safe place for you when you need it – a place where you find value and can look forward to finding yourself – not just managing your symptoms and treatment.

I Can Help You Cope With Chronic Illness

Don’t you long to find a place where no one expects anything from you – a place where you don’t have to hide to make others comfortable? As one client once told me, I can be that “someone there” for you so that you don’t have to feel so alone. I encourage you to take the first step and call my office to make an appointment to sign up for the psychotherapy that can help you to deal with your chronic illness. I would like to be with you as you navigate this new territory and find a way to live your true self. I can help you work at making the best of your life with a chronic illness. I invite you to call my office and make an appointment. I look forward to helping you along your journey into a more fulfilling life, despite having a chronic illness.