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've worked for 20 years in inpatient and outpatient settings with chronic and acute physical and mental illness. While empathy and support go a long way, learning effective coping strategies takes motivated clients even further down the road towards balance.

— Jennifer Bearden, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

My primary training and practice sites have been in pain clinics, HIV clinics, liver clinics, and primary care clinics. Across those experiences I have developed expertise in treating individuals struggling with a body that is not cooperating. I employ evidence-based treatments like ACT and CBT, but also work hard to address ableism, illness stigma, medical trauma, and other experiences that intersect with one's experience of pain and illness.

— Ami Student, Clinical Psychologist
 

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

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 ,
 

My primary training and practice sites have been in pain clinics, HIV clinics, liver clinics, and primary care clinics. Across those experiences I have developed expertise in treating individuals struggling with a body that is not cooperating. I employ evidence-based treatments like ACT and CBT, but also work hard to address ableism, illness stigma, medical trauma, and other experiences that intersect with one's experience of pain and illness.

— Ami Student, Clinical Psychologist

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 have helped hundreds of clients who are actively suffering from chronic pain, chronic illnesses, and debilitating disabilities. Coming-to-terms with your physical struggles, learning how to navigate life with them, and finding your personal strengths all are very useful ways to beat the depression and anxiety that these issues cause. Good therapy can help.

— Joshua Shuman, Psychologist in Beavercreek, OH

We can work together collaboratively in softly challenging distorted unhelpful/exaggerated/unrealistic harsh judgements/thoughts/beliefs that appear during your pain. Just because we have a thought doesn't make it true. We can work together to accept uncomfortable emotions/pain rather than act harsh towards it. Our pain, although sometimes misguided, are trying to help us. Self compassion is powerful!

— Clayton Stephens, Addictions Counselor in Tucson, AZ
 

Dealing with a chronic health condition can shatter your sense of trust in the world, trust of others, and trust of your own body. My purpose as your therapist is not to tell you what you already know. When previously helpful coping strategies are no longer accessible, your body is unfamiliar to you, and your resources are tapped out, I will walk alongside you and help to build much needed supports.

— Laura Stephan, Psychologist in St. Paul, MN

My background in working with adults with developmental disabilities, my education in ethics, and then my own experiences within the healthcare system shaped my enthusiasm for working with people who have chronic pain and illness. I bring an integrative approach and have found particular success with using EMDR and ego state work in supporting people with chronic health conditions including pain.

— Frances Mican, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in ,
 

At least 10% of people with mild acute Covid infection are now thought to fail to make a full recovery from their symptoms and return to their pre-existing level of functioning. Long haulers as they have been colloquially named by the peer community in the US refer to the multi symptom, multi system post viral syndrome. As a former long hauler myself, now mostly recovered, I am working with those who have not in my practice.

— Sally E. Riggs, Psychologist in New York, NY

You feel like crap all the time, and you’re not sure how much longer you can keep this up. Maybe your doctor brushed it off, or told you to lose weight. Maybe they labeled it as “anxiety” just because you have both a vagina and more than one medical problem. You’re starting to lose hope. I get it. I spent decades without diagnosis or treatment, surviving medical neglect, misdiagnosis, and gaslighting by medical professionals. I felt lost and alone, but you don’t have to. I BELIEVE YOU.

— Nora Mickowski, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in , TX
 

Pain can cause you to limit social engagements, avoid meet new people and fear things that used to bring you pleasure. It can sometimes feel like a terrible game of which came first, the chicken or the egg. Stress tenses your muscles and can create a flare up of symptoms… but the our bodies naturally respond to pain with fear. When you’re living with a chronic condition finding a way with pain that allows you to live a meaningful and full life is a necessity.

— Sydney Rose, Therapist in New York, NY

I have extensive experience working with individuals who live with chronic, complex medical conditions. I completed my postdoctoral training at a medical center where I worked closely with patients in addition to training psychology doctoral students in Behavioral Medicine. I use mindfulness-based interventions and strategies to help my clients find meaning and vitality while living with a chronic health condition.

— Katherine Plambeck, Clinical Psychologist in Berkeley, CA
 

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

Chronic illness can take a toll on your mental health. Chronic pain/illness is not just a physical sensation. It also has psychological and emotional aspects. Chronic pain can lead to mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. Fortunately, therapy can improve your mental well-being and help you manage chronic pain. We will discuss in therapy ways in which you can learn new skills to live with chronic pain.

— Bobby Rosenthal, Psychotherapist
 

As an individual who lives with chronic pain and illness, I understand the struggle of finding people who "get it". There is a very specific type of experience that comes with chronic illness and the frustration of not having a compassionate space to land can be overwhleming.

— Rebecca Szymborski, Social Worker in New York, NY

I have done much research and reading on chronic pain and illness. I also have personal experience in this area and understand how daunting a journey with chronic pain or illness can be. You don't have to do it alone.

— Shelley Mulock, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Alamitos, CA
 

Discover everyday practices to help you thrive. Learn how to increase your self-awareness and design the best quality of life for yourself.

— Jenette Mundlin, Associate Professional Counselor in Gresham, OR

Supporting individuals & families in all realms of Health, Healing & Life Transitions - coping with chronic illness; managing acute physical or mental illness; adjusting to chronic physical or mental health diagnosis; living better with chronic pain; healing after medical treatments; navigating uncertainty; managing cancer survivorship & chronic disease management; facing dying authentically.

— Thomas J. Pier, Therapist in Los Angeles, CA