Chronic Illness and Disability
Suffering a serious injury or being diagnosed with a chronic illness such as cancer, diabetes, or heart disease can feel overwhelming and debilitating. These are often considered normal reactions to abnormal situations. Many of these illnesses do not have a “cure,” and individuals suffering from them are often faced with the task of trying to cope with a life-altering diagnosis. It may be difficult to discuss the impact of the illness or disability with others for fear of being misunderstood or judged. When there is a change in medical status, many people struggle to reconcile their identity in light of new limitations. For these reasons, those suffering from serious medical conditions can benefit from extra support to cope with these added stressors.
In my treatment, I utilize a combination of cognitive-behavioral and other empirically supported techniques to help patients to cope with the burden associated with medical ailments and manage any associated pain. I also offer individual and couples’ therapy to caregivers of those with chronic medical conditions to help manage stress and caregiver burnout. These skills include relaxation techniques, mindfulness, stress management, communication, ways to reframe thinking, value-based exercises, and methods to re-engage in desired activities.