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.

Need help finding the right therapist?
Find Your Match

Meet the specialists


I have specialty training in supporting both pediatric and adult populations living with chronic pain or illness and caregivers. I have training in psychosocial oncology, organ transplant, cleft/craniofacial, rehab psychology, & HIV care among other specialties. I have worked at a number of academic medical hospitals including University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, and Children's Hospital Colorado.

— Maria Canyon, Clinical Psychologist in Denver, CO

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

Psychotherapy with clinical hypnosis has been shown to be effective for treating chronic pain to decrease the intensity of pain and how it may interfere with your life. My VA Hospital research Treating Chronic Low Back Pain with Hypnosis or Biofeedback is published. Clinical hypnosis has also been shown to be very effective for treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and hotflashes.

— Tenley Fukui, Counselor in Houston, TX

Are you living with a chronic illness or endless enduring pain? have you just received a new diagnosis for a illness you are trying to wrap your head aroud? I love to talk with folks about their feelings around illness.

— Michelle Desmond, Clinical Social Worker

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

I have managed asthma and chronic pain for my entire adult life. I love sharing the mind-body approaches I've learned that help me get through flare-ups.

— Amber Keating, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Los Angeles, CA

Living with chronic pain and or illness can create stress on all levels of our being. I am here to help you on all levels with pain, diagnosis, chronic pain, and illness. In addition to multiple supportive modalities, I am able to provide mind/body/emotion/spirit support via hypnotherapy and doula services when necessary

— Erin Mullins, Student Therapist in Bothell, WA

Being diagnosed with a chronic illness, either personally or to someone you love, can be debilitating. I've worked with individuals, couples, and families navigating grief, loss, and illness. I also consider mental health to be a chronic illness and can be disruptive if not addressed in a safe space. Instead of talking about the illness itself (leave that to your medical team), we'll dig into thoughts, feelings, and emotions that surround the sickness.

— AJ Rich, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

Not unlike my education regarding LGBTQ issues, my family life brought me to understand the challenges of chronic pain and illness. I would have much rather learned this through formal education, readings or seminars, but unfortunately I was enrolled in the school of hard knocks. While I don't want to share too much detail online, I'm particularly focused and supportive of the challenges of "long haulers" or long-COVID/PASC, cancer and autoimmune disorders.

— Daniel McCarthy, Psychologist in Columbia, MD

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

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

I utilize the latest research on chronic pain and approach your symptoms from a mind body approach. I have personal experience with chronic pain after suffering with debilitating migraines for 20 years; I teach others principles that have helped me on my journey.

— Samantha Bryant, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in , TX

Drawing from CBT, DBT, psychodynamic, and narrative-therapy based approaches, my work surrounding chronic pain / illness aims to build personally-tailored grounding and coping skills in order to support individuals' unique daily needs and, perhaps more importantly, aspires to develop a broader sense of identity/self as a part of ongoing resilience and acceptance of various chronic conditions.

— Daniel Lee, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Brooklyn, NY

You may have just recently been diagnosed with a chronic illness, or you may have been coping with one for years. You are probably exhausted and frustrated with how long it took to get a diagnosis or to find the right treatment. You may feel alone in your experience and like no one understands what you are going through. Therapy can provide education about coping skills for dealing with these changes and emotions, as well as a place to discuss and get support for your experience.

— Ginny Kington, Psychologist in Duluth, GA

Did you know that research shows therapy for chronic pain is as effective as painkillers? You can have much more influence over your pain than you'd imagine and you can get back to living a full life. Like pain medications, therapy works on the physical body but it also addresses two areas that medications don't. Whether you are dealing with chronic pain or chronic illness, you and I will work together to find solutions so you can focus on living a vibrant, satisfying life.

— Alicia Polk, Licensed Professional Counselor in Belton, MO

Managing fears, unknowns, and the healthcare and medical systems is exhausting and can be frustrating. Often, we are also managing the emotions of those around us. We are continuing to work, raise kids, deal with financial implications, and trying to live a "normal" life despite physical or physiological manifestations, and despite a myriad of other factors unique to everyone's specific circumstance. As with grief, it can be isolating and our community often doesn't support in the way we need.

— Kir Rian, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

In today's day and age, we have (somewhat) arrived to a point that its ok to say "you know what, I am not ok. I put on a smile, but I wake up every day with pain(or difficulty with managing my diabetes, or stiff and takes me hours to get out of bed), and honestly it sucks". No one should invalidate that, it is your truth. My work includes learning to co-exist with your diagnosis in a way that you feel like you are living rather than just surviving.

— Dr. Miglany Gomila, Psychologist in , WA

The mind and the body are connected in in a deep way. What happens in our bodies affect the mind and vice versa. I use my knowledge of the mind-body connection to help clients develop skills and self-compassion. My background is in medical social work and I also have lived experience of chronic illness. Together, these experiences give me knowledge of navigating health care systems from both perspectives.

— Esha Mehta, Social Worker in Greenwood Village, CO