Physical Disability

A physical disability is a limitation on a person's physical functioning, mobility, dexterity or stamina. There are many different types of physical disabilities. A physical disability may be temporary, long-term, or permanent. Whether you were born with a disability, or have experienced the disability because to injury or illness later in life, being physically disabled can be mentally challenging. A physical disability sometimes leads to social isolation as it may prevent some people from leaving the house, or experiencing things they were previously able to do. It may also cause a loss of independence, especially if the disability requires the care others. This may lead to feelings of helplessness and depression. If you are experiencing a physical disability, particularly if you are struggling with negative emotions, talking with a qualified mental health professional may be an important part of your treatment plan. Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s physical disability experts today.

Need help finding the right therapist?
Find Your Match

Meet the specialists


As someone with lived experience with a physical disability, I can support you on your journey from acceptance to adaptation. We will explore the beliefs about yourself that might be holding you back and help you reclaim your identity and the life you want to live.

— Beth Gustin, Licensed Professional Counselor in Westminster, CO

Coping with partial hearing loss, tinnitus, or chronic health challenges lead to fatigue and overwhelm. Irritation sets in and others don't seem to fully understand you. I will work with you to feel empowered and discover coping strategies to let you lead the life you desire.

— Patrick Tully, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

In addition to my schooling, have firsthand experience with this in my own life through the form of a chronic illness, and have pursued and completed group therapy programs and my own individual therapy to adjust to a new pace of life and find a way to thrive in the midst of physical ailments. I understand feeling like the world was not created for you, and needing to build a beautiful life that often looks incredibly different than what is expected in our society.

— Carrie Schuessler, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Mequon, WI

I believe that every client with a physical disability deserves a therapist who truly understands the unique experience of navigating a world that is not designed to meet their individual needs.

— Jessica Karim, Social Worker in Brooklyn, NY

I’ve got Cerebral Palsy (CP) and use a wheelchair for mobility. Additionally, I’m getting a Master’s of Arts in Disability Studies. We will use a variety of techniques depending on your unique situation. Some people may need trauma treatment, some people may need assistance with specific challenges and benefit from a solution-focused approach. Others may need assistance with problems not specifically related to disabilities but appreciate having a therapist who understands disabilities.

— Louise Bonneau, Clinical Social Worker in College Station, TX

Director of Psychology, Neuropsychology & Behavioral Medicine Encompass Health Rehab Hospital, with current privileges. O’Donnell, P. J. (2013). Psychological Effects of a Strength-Based Intervention Among Inpatients in Rehabilitation for Pain and Disability. (Doctoral dissertation). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. ISBN: 978-1-303-53639-7

— Peter O'Donnell, Psychologist in Bellefonte, PA

Disabilities, both seen and unseen, can impact how you navigate the world and how the world navigates you. Together, we can work to help you meet your challenges head-on, savor your triumphs, and examine the emotions that arise from both.

— Natassia Johnson, Clinical Psychologist in Sugar Land, TX

Disability can vastly change the way we interact with our world and how the world interacts with us. I understand this at a personal level. As a person with a disability, I understand that the world we live in wasn't built for my needs and yet I will make it work. In therapy we can explore disability, disability identity, and coping with the able-world around us. More importantly, we can explore what you want to do with your life and how to do it - barriers and all.

— Guy Smith, Counselor in Fitchburg, WI

I have unique training in working with clients with physical disabilities, and my research focuses on physical disability concerns. I take "social model" and "disability justice model" perspectives of disability, which suggest that the social and physical environments disable people with physical impairments.

— Kristin Conover, Psychologist in Los Angeles, CA

I help professional women who have chronic pain and/or chronic illnesses learn to be kind to themselves, to trust themselves, and to find ways to get the support that they need without ever being forced to prove that their pain is real or that they’re trying hard enough. We do not live in an accessible world, and this can be incredibly frustrating and exhausting. You are not the problem; you never have been.

— Christy Reichert, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Vancouver, WA

I have been working with individuals with disabilities for the past six years. I specialized in rehabilitation psychology during my postdoctoral fellowship. In other words, I had solid training and have had some great teachers who have helped me understand how to provide therapy that is specifically disability-affirmative. My approach is flexible and client-centered, which means this might be the only place in your life where you don't have to be the one to adapt.

— Nina Tilka, Clinical Psychologist in Tustin, CA