Medical concerns, such as a new diagnosis of a serious illness, a decline in physical abilities, or the worsening of a chronic, long-standing health condition, present emotional, spiritual and behavioral challenges as well as physical ones.
In therapy, I view you as an unique individual that is traveling down an unfamiliar road. I am interested in you as a whole person and respect your traditions, values and spirituality.
“Psychotherapy can help you live a more meaningful and satisfying and self-directed life, even in the face of serious illness.” – Jon Richard, PsyD
I can assist you (and your loved ones if desired) with:
- Coping with fear and anxiety… by confronting the reality of an uncertain future as well as day to day concerns as well as learning specific skills such as breathing, mindfulness and relaxation so that you can control your anxiety.
- Learning to manage physically and emotionally distressing treatments, such as coping with medication side effects, painful procedures and surgeries as well as chemotherapy.
- Keeping your own identity versus being a patient or disease. I have seen folks where their identity becomes the disease itself.
- Being assertive in a medical system that tends to depersonalize a patient and often expects one to blindly follow the treatment recommended. Often that means becoming part of “the team” with you as the leader. Learning how to make difficult decisions with clarity and with the emotional strength to be your own advocate.
- Learning how to prioritize when experiencing periods of reduced energy or strength. Learning how to use your time, energy and strength to do what is important to you. Developing strategies for pacing yourself to maximize your-well being and minimize your symptoms and side effects.
- Learning how to communicate with family, loved ones, friends, and the workplace about your health. Deciding what you want to share with who. Looking at the benefits and risks of self-disclosure in personal and professional relationships. Learning how to respond to those who offer their expertise based on “my friend also had cancer and this is what they found.” Being prepared for the well meaning co-workers, friends and family who discuss what is wrong with you with others.
- Adapting to temporary or permanent changes in abilities.
- Accepting and moving through grief, anger and depression.
- If necessary, helping you decide how you want to live the rest of your life as well as end-of-life decisions. NOTE: Everyone over the age of 18 would be wise to have advanced directives (Living Will) and durable of power of attorney for health care completed.