Chronic Pain or Illness

Living with chronic pain or long-term illness can be devastating and often brings up feelings of grief, fear, sadness or anger. Sometimes just getting a diagnosis can be difficult and navigating treatment options can be overwhelming and exhausting. Depression is one of the most common mental health problems facing people with chronic pain. Whether you are struggling to accept a recent diagnosis or you’ve been experiencing chronic pain for some time, a mental health expert can help. Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s specialists today.

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Meet the specialists

 

I have had extensive experience and training in working with individuals navigating chronic pain and illness. I've worked with a variety of diagnoses from arthritis to cancer, and believe therapy can give us the tools to take some control back and find meaning again.

— Sarah McGuire-Mendoza, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Health problems - including sleep issues, sexual concerns, and pain - are increasingly common, but not often discussed in a meaningful, productive way. Your concerns may be related to illnesses or injuries, medications, or normal aging. They may also have an unknown cause but create distress in your life or relationships. I provide an opportunity to address underlying psychological contributions to your health concerns. You will also CBT techniques to have a more fulfilling and healthy life.

— Dr. Jessica Carlile, Clinical Psychologist in Seattle, WA
 

Chronic pain can be so isolating, and can contribute to depression, anxiety, and trauma symptoms. My approach to pain is multifaceted, including cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and somatic movement. I'll help you identify triggers, develop self care skills, and learn how to regulate your nervous system so that pain will be less intense. I will also offer you deep empathy and compassion, and a safe space in which to be honest about your difficulties.

— Rachel Fernbach, Therapist in Brooklyn, NY

From 1999-2018 I worked as a social worker in each segment of the health and mental health care system; hospitals, homecare, short term rehab, long term care, hospice, community mental health, inpatient psychiatric care, and other settings providing case management, counseling, therapy and other services to those in need. I also live with a number of chronic health conditions and am involved with the Ehlers Danlos society, Spinal Leak Foundation and Dysautonomia International.

— Greta MacMillan, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Madison, CT
 

Living with illness, disability, and/or chronic pain can leave you feeling isolated as you navigate changing relationships, medical care, stretched finances, grief for what's been lost, fear about the future, experiences of invisibility/hypervisibility, and anger about how you've been treated. I work from a Disability Justice model, grappling with the ways in which our world often fails to provide accommodation and access, and how our lives become shaped by that lack of care and recognition.

— Abby Weintraub, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in ,

Living with illness, disability, and/or chronic pain can leave you feeling isolated as you navigate changing relationships, medical care, stretched finances, grief for what's been lost, fear about the future, experiences of invisibility/hypervisibility, and anger about how you've been treated. I work from a Disability Justice model, grappling with the ways in which our world often fails to provide accommodation and access, and how our lives become shaped by that lack of care and recognition.

— Abby Weintraub, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in ,
 

Living with chronic illness or traumatic stress, one might feel overwhelmed and tense on a regular basis or trend more toward feeling numb and shut down, perhaps even dissociated, but regardless of how one's experiences show up in their bodies, one thing remains the same: Being “inside ourselves,” with our thoughts, feelings and emotions, feels scary, confusing and painful. Purposefully creating a sense of safety inside ourselves after trauma, illness or crisis can be likened to returning home.

— Jennifer McCombs, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Reno, NV

I worked in medical and geriatric social work for over five years. In these practice settings, I gained familiarity with the psychosocial impact of chronic illness, chronic pain, and adjustment to changes in ability. I am familiar with many medical conditions, including cancer, POTS, macular degeneration and other forms of low vision, renal disease and organ transplant, and Alzheimer's and other dementias.

— Caylin Broome, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Atlanta, GA
 

Fibromyalgia, Food Allergies/Anaphylaxis, Headache, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, IBD (Crohn's/Colitis), Infertility, ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Migraine

— Lori Bolnick, Clinical Psychologist in Schaumburg, IL

As a clinical health psychologist I have comfort level and knowledge with many different types of illness and how they connect to mental health. I can also assist with advocating for yourself in the medical system or support in navigating these systems.

— Heather Tahler, Psychologist
 

I have experience both managing my own chronic pain and counseling others to manage theirs. My approach often focuses on holding space for one's grieving process related to pain and/or illness, with a later emphasis on building motivation and optimism to identify actionable steps for rebuilding power and agency in spite of one's condition(s).

— Mary Alice Reilly, Clinical Social Worker in Silver Spring, MD

Living with illness, disability, and/or chronic pain can leave you feeling isolated as you navigate changing relationships, medical care, stretched finances, grief for what's been lost, fear about the future, experiences of invisibility/hypervisibility, and anger about how you've been treated. I work from a Disability Justice model, grappling with the ways in which our world often fails to provide accommodation and access, and how our lives become shaped by that lack of care and recognition.

— Abby Weintraub, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in ,
 

I am here to validate that your pain is real, and I can help you learn about the incredible mind-body connection. Whether you're experiencing anxiety or depression from chronic pelvic/sexual pain, trauma, or other life stressors, I'm here to help normalize your experiences and provide evidence based strategies to help you achieve your goals.

— Elizabeth Pensack, Student Therapist in Macungie, PA

As a human who has lived with chronic illness for most of my life, I understand the frustrations and self doubt caused by an invalidating medical system, the struggles of navigating each day with unpredictable symptoms, and the isolation of advocating for yourself with doctors, friends and family. I truly believe in arming yourself with knowledge, becoming your own doctor, and listening to your body. Mindfulness and self-compassion are the mainstays of living with chronic illness.

— Meghan Walsh, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in WESTBROOK, ME
 

Sometimes hating your body isn't about wanting to be skinny. You listen to others talk about their difficulties together, offering suggestions and support. You struggle to understand why you feel so separate from those around you. Even though others are friendly, you feel disconnected. You feel betrayed by your body. Forced into accepting a reality you would have never dreamt up, you search for control because your sense of control of your life has been ripped away from you.

— Tessa Gordon, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

Working in the Spoonie community is one that has come from continuing to deconstruct the divide between mental and physical health. They interact and effect each other, every time. We also see chronic pain stem from trauma. Each person is different, here we could be addressing trauma or we could be learning to cope with the emotions that come from managing chronic pain or illness.

— Adalyn Wilson, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Supervisor
 

Issues resulting from medical conditions often include: grief and loss, family conflict, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, loss of routine and/or job, trauma, loss of identify, and more. In my work with these populations, I processed their feelings regarding the changes, how to incorporate the changes, while working with them to prevent their entire lives from BEING these changes.

— Keith Elias -Shetland Counseling, LLC, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Mountain Lakes, NJ

Receiving a diagnosis; adjusting to lifestyle and medication changes; coping with related changes in mood, emotions, and relationships; managing symptoms and stress.

— Celestine David, Mental Health Counselor in New York, NY
 

EMDR and CBT provide greater psychological flexibility in the presence of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors associated with pain. Using functional medicine, we explore how and why illness occurs & balance health by addressing the root causes of a disease. It helps us see the common pathways to disease (e.g., inflammation) the role of diet, stress, & physical activity; sciences of genes and metabolic processes; & the effects of environmental toxins on health and recovery.

— Marissa Harris, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Chicago, IL