Chronic Illness Therapists in San Diego, CA

Photo of Elizabeth Vines, MA, LMFT, Marriage & Family Therapist
Elizabeth Vines
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, LMFT
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92116  (Online Only)
Online openings: Mon 2:30, Tues 1:30, 2:30. I specialize in complex trauma, phobias/anxiety, and chronic illness for adults and teens. Many of my clients are recovering from developmental trauma, learning to soothe overactive nervous systems, and hoping to identify and express their needs in a new way. My work is depth oriented, empowering, feminist, compassion focused, and client-centered. I work well with artists and creative types, perfectionists, high achievers, nerds, people who love to learn, and those who identify as highly sensitive. Read more and find resources in the blog on my website at www.sierraspringspsychotherapy.com
Online openings: Mon 2:30, Tues 1:30, 2:30. I specialize in complex trauma, phobias/anxiety, and chronic illness for adults and teens. Many of my clients are recovering from developmental trauma, learning to soothe overactive nervous systems, and hoping to identify and express their needs in a new way. My work is depth oriented, empowering, feminist, compassion focused, and client-centered. I work well with artists and creative types, perfectionists, high achievers, nerds, people who love to learn, and those who identify as highly sensitive. Read more and find resources in the blog on my website at www.sierraspringspsychotherapy.com
(424) 622-8418 View (424) 622-8418
Photo of Liz Weisenburger, MA,  MS, CRC, APCC
Liz Weisenburger
Associate Professional Clinical Counselor, MA, MS, CRC, APCC
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92103
Not accepting new clients
Being diagnosed with a chronic illness &/or acquiring a disability can brings dramatic life change for you and your loved ones. A new prognosis, sudden trauma, congenital health condition, or the gradual onset of a life with imposed limits can bring isolation, overwhelm, & clueless as you seek to figure out how you will navigate your new “normal." Like most people who fall ill or encounter disability, you have no blueprint for how to move forward to recover a meaningful life for yourself.
Being diagnosed with a chronic illness &/or acquiring a disability can brings dramatic life change for you and your loved ones. A new prognosis, sudden trauma, congenital health condition, or the gradual onset of a life with imposed limits can bring isolation, overwhelm, & clueless as you seek to figure out how you will navigate your new “normal." Like most people who fall ill or encounter disability, you have no blueprint for how to move forward to recover a meaningful life for yourself.
(619) 329-9555 View (619) 329-9555
Photo of Kelly Hutton - Kelly Hutton, Chronic pain and illness therapist, LMFT, Marriage & Family Therapist
Kelly Hutton, Chronic pain and illness therapist
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92102
Welcome! Do you have chronic pain, chronic fatigue, or chronic illness you are managing? Or, do you love someone or care for someone with these issues? If so, you are in the right place. I specialize in working with chronic pain, chronic illness, medical trauma, neurocognitive issues (memory). Living with pain/illness comes with enormous grief, and it can be incredibly lonely. You might find you are irritable, have trouble with sleeping, can't concentrate or focus or struggle with daily tasks that used to be easy. Your relationships might be suffering as you can't show up how you used to. I am here to support you.
Welcome! Do you have chronic pain, chronic fatigue, or chronic illness you are managing? Or, do you love someone or care for someone with these issues? If so, you are in the right place. I specialize in working with chronic pain, chronic illness, medical trauma, neurocognitive issues (memory). Living with pain/illness comes with enormous grief, and it can be incredibly lonely. You might find you are irritable, have trouble with sleeping, can't concentrate or focus or struggle with daily tasks that used to be easy. Your relationships might be suffering as you can't show up how you used to. I am here to support you.
(619) 853-5083 View (619) 853-5083
Photo of Patricia C Kantzavelos, LCSW, MLIS, MSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Patricia C Kantzavelos
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, MLIS, MSW
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92116
As a chronic illness warrior/ spoonie, I completely understand what it feels like to sit on the other side of the couch (or, screen), and how important it is to chat with someone who 'gets it.
I specialize in chronic health conditions and trauma, which I understand first hand. Chronic medical conditions (i.e. dysautonomia POTS, EDS, Lyme disease, Bartonella, IBS, fibro, fatigue CFS, Hashimoto’s, mast cell MCAS, sickle cell disease, mold illness CIRS, etc.) often come with significant challenges, like fear, anxiety, grief, medical PTSD, and may interfere with relationships and daily function. I utilize various holistic evidence-based treatment modalities and practice-based evidence, contingent on each person’s needs and goals, with an added focus on mindfulness techniques, positive psychology, and strengths-based therapy.
As a chronic illness warrior/ spoonie, I completely understand what it feels like to sit on the other side of the couch (or, screen), and how important it is to chat with someone who 'gets it.
I specialize in chronic health conditions and trauma, which I understand first hand. Chronic medical conditions (i.e. dysautonomia POTS, EDS, Lyme disease, Bartonella, IBS, fibro, fatigue CFS, Hashimoto’s, mast cell MCAS, sickle cell disease, mold illness CIRS, etc.) often come with significant challenges, like fear, anxiety, grief, medical PTSD, and may interfere with relationships and daily function. I utilize various holistic evidence-based treatment modalities and practice-based evidence, contingent on each person’s needs and goals, with an added focus on mindfulness techniques, positive psychology, and strengths-based therapy.
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Photo of Nancy M Gordon, LCSW, CLC, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Nancy M Gordon
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, CLC
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92120  (Online Only)
An ideal client may present issues related to any source of loss and grief, especially pet loss or chronic illness. Committed clients, who value investing in themselves to use coaching to go beyond just "getting through" a challenge/loss as springboards for personal growth and transformation through my unique methodology, 7 Powerful Practices to Manage Your Mind and Heal Your Heart. Clients use individual sessions, group programs, transformational retreats. I use my Certification as a Life Coach, a coaching model, and my methodology of the 7 Powerful Practices.
An ideal client may present issues related to any source of loss and grief, especially pet loss or chronic illness. Committed clients, who value investing in themselves to use coaching to go beyond just "getting through" a challenge/loss as springboards for personal growth and transformation through my unique methodology, 7 Powerful Practices to Manage Your Mind and Heal Your Heart. Clients use individual sessions, group programs, transformational retreats. I use my Certification as a Life Coach, a coaching model, and my methodology of the 7 Powerful Practices.
(858) 952-0936 View (858) 952-0936
Photo of Brainspotting Trauma Therapist Giselle Laguna, LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Brainspotting Trauma Therapist Giselle Laguna
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
San Diego, CA 92103
Welcome to my page! Are you struggling with trauma, anxiety, pain, relationship challenges, or cultural barriers? It can be incredibly tough to find a therapist who gets you. You deserve someone who empathizes with your experiences and works with you to overcome emotional burdens. I specialize in PTSD and trauma, depression, anxiety, chronic illness, and substance misuse. By integrating Brainspotting and my background in energy healing, I’ll help you navigate and transform your challenges into a journey of self-discovery and empowerment, leading you toward a more authentic and fulfilling life.
Welcome to my page! Are you struggling with trauma, anxiety, pain, relationship challenges, or cultural barriers? It can be incredibly tough to find a therapist who gets you. You deserve someone who empathizes with your experiences and works with you to overcome emotional burdens. I specialize in PTSD and trauma, depression, anxiety, chronic illness, and substance misuse. By integrating Brainspotting and my background in energy healing, I’ll help you navigate and transform your challenges into a journey of self-discovery and empowerment, leading you toward a more authentic and fulfilling life.
(619) 473-2561 View (619) 473-2561
Photo of Tracey L Chester, MS, MA, Marriage & Family Therapist
Tracey L Chester
Marriage & Family Therapist, MS, MA
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92121
Waitlist for new clients
I am a licensed MFT, and he founder and clinical director of San Diego Pain and Trauma Institute. I primarily work with patients who suffer from chronic pain or chronic illness. Simply put, patients need extra attention their loved ones may be unable to provide.The mission of this clinic is to provide an integrated approach, with primary care doctors, and doctors from different specialties, trauma-informed care, from physical therapy techniques to the most up to date evidence based practices. I am amongst a small group of professionals studying the relationship between trauma, grief and chronic pain.
I am a licensed MFT, and he founder and clinical director of San Diego Pain and Trauma Institute. I primarily work with patients who suffer from chronic pain or chronic illness. Simply put, patients need extra attention their loved ones may be unable to provide.The mission of this clinic is to provide an integrated approach, with primary care doctors, and doctors from different specialties, trauma-informed care, from physical therapy techniques to the most up to date evidence based practices. I am amongst a small group of professionals studying the relationship between trauma, grief and chronic pain.
(442) 237-5123 View (442) 237-5123
Photo of Megan R Spangler, LMFT, Marriage & Family Therapist
Megan R Spangler
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
San Diego, CA 92103  (Online Only)
Are you looking for someone to stand beside you as you navigate the complexities of chronic illness or need support in breaking cycles of codependency or difficult relationship dynamics with friends, family or partners? I specialize in providing compassionate and personalized support to individuals facing these challenges. I understand the unique struggles associated with chronic illness, offering a safe space to explore your emotions, address self-care needs, and develop effective coping strategies. Similarly, for relationships, I provide a non -judgmental environment and practical skills to help you create new dynamics.
Are you looking for someone to stand beside you as you navigate the complexities of chronic illness or need support in breaking cycles of codependency or difficult relationship dynamics with friends, family or partners? I specialize in providing compassionate and personalized support to individuals facing these challenges. I understand the unique struggles associated with chronic illness, offering a safe space to explore your emotions, address self-care needs, and develop effective coping strategies. Similarly, for relationships, I provide a non -judgmental environment and practical skills to help you create new dynamics.
(844) 505-4150 View (844) 505-4150
Photo of Kelleen Stainer, LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Kelleen Stainer
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92128
Hello, I am Kelleen Stainer. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of California. I take a 'client-centered' approach to therapy and believe therapy is a partnership between the client and the therapist. I typically work with adult clients in need of additional support to cope with their current life challenges. I am most comfortable treating individuals with generalized anxiety disorder, depression, grief, self-esteem issues, chronic illness and relationship issues.
Hello, I am Kelleen Stainer. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of California. I take a 'client-centered' approach to therapy and believe therapy is a partnership between the client and the therapist. I typically work with adult clients in need of additional support to cope with their current life challenges. I am most comfortable treating individuals with generalized anxiety disorder, depression, grief, self-esteem issues, chronic illness and relationship issues.
(805) 317-7954 View (805) 317-7954
Photo of Tara Guden, LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Tara Guden
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92101
Often my clients have been in traditional talk therapy but something still felt missing or unaddressed. They come to me looking to deepen their mental and emotional well being with something more. Most of my clients struggle with anxiety, perfectionism, people pleasing, and/or boundary setting. Nearly all of my clients have experienced something in their lives that's left them changed in some way such as unhealthy romantic relationships, chronic illness, or a traumatic childhood.
Often my clients have been in traditional talk therapy but something still felt missing or unaddressed. They come to me looking to deepen their mental and emotional well being with something more. Most of my clients struggle with anxiety, perfectionism, people pleasing, and/or boundary setting. Nearly all of my clients have experienced something in their lives that's left them changed in some way such as unhealthy romantic relationships, chronic illness, or a traumatic childhood.
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Photo of Dr. Danielle D Alfrey, PsyD, Psychologist
Dr. Danielle D Alfrey
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
San Diego, CA 92109
, imposter syndrome), military life, PTSD/trauma, LGBTQ-related issues and/or understanding, substance abuse, depression/anxiety, relationship/divorce/separation, and chronic illness, grief/bereavement issues.
Hello there! I'd be happy to work with you. I work with adults and some teens (14 and older) and couples. In-person or video. I enjoy helping those with relationship strain, depression, anxiety, LGBTQ+, couples/marital issues, alcohol abuse, PTSD, and difficult life circumstances. I have a specialty in medical psychology (i.e., health behavior change, insomnia, weight loss, cancer, grief/bereavement, etc.). Cognitive behavioral therapy is offered along with a non-judgmental approach that is supportive and non-confrontational. Please email, or text to set up your intake appt. (619) 880-5711. I am an exclusive LYRA Health provider!
, imposter syndrome), military life, PTSD/trauma, LGBTQ-related issues and/or understanding, substance abuse, depression/anxiety, relationship/divorce/separation, and chronic illness, grief/bereavement issues.
Hello there! I'd be happy to work with you. I work with adults and some teens (14 and older) and couples. In-person or video. I enjoy helping those with relationship strain, depression, anxiety, LGBTQ+, couples/marital issues, alcohol abuse, PTSD, and difficult life circumstances. I have a specialty in medical psychology (i.e., health behavior change, insomnia, weight loss, cancer, grief/bereavement, etc.). Cognitive behavioral therapy is offered along with a non-judgmental approach that is supportive and non-confrontational. Please email, or text to set up your intake appt. (619) 880-5711. I am an exclusive LYRA Health provider!
(619) 361-7359 View (619) 361-7359
Photo of Elizabeth Anaya-Olmedo, LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Elizabeth Anaya-Olmedo
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92114
I have extensive experience working with individuals from all walks of life suffering from anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, low self-esteem, sexual abuse, intimate partner violence, life transitions, loss, and grief, living with a chronic illness, and problems related to parenting.
I’m Elizabeth Anaya-Olmedo, a licensed clinical social worker with more than 9 years of experience. I have a bachelor’s degree in human services, a bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a concentration in Social Work and Gerontology, and a master’s degree in social work from Indiana University. My goal is to touch, move and inspire all those I come in contact with. I am passionate about empowering people in all aspects of life. I help people embrace their authentic selves, develop compassion toward themselves and others, and live meaningful life through transformation and healing.
I have extensive experience working with individuals from all walks of life suffering from anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, low self-esteem, sexual abuse, intimate partner violence, life transitions, loss, and grief, living with a chronic illness, and problems related to parenting.
I’m Elizabeth Anaya-Olmedo, a licensed clinical social worker with more than 9 years of experience. I have a bachelor’s degree in human services, a bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a concentration in Social Work and Gerontology, and a master’s degree in social work from Indiana University. My goal is to touch, move and inspire all those I come in contact with. I am passionate about empowering people in all aspects of life. I help people embrace their authentic selves, develop compassion toward themselves and others, and live meaningful life through transformation and healing.
(619) 391-2771 View (619) 391-2771
Photo of Kelly Engleson, LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Kelly Engleson
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
San Diego, CA 92103  (Online Only)
I help adults who are struggling with issues of infertility, bereavement, grief and loss and life transitions. My clients are those who are yearning to be parents, have endured loss, sadness and anxiety while utilizing assisted reproductive technology in efforts to conceive and those facing multiple challenges on their path to parenthood. I also work with adults who have endured many different types of losses (death of a loved one, divorce, job loss, losses due to chronic illness...) and struggle to find ways to move forward. I work with young adults who are navigating issues of purpose and identity.
I help adults who are struggling with issues of infertility, bereavement, grief and loss and life transitions. My clients are those who are yearning to be parents, have endured loss, sadness and anxiety while utilizing assisted reproductive technology in efforts to conceive and those facing multiple challenges on their path to parenthood. I also work with adults who have endured many different types of losses (death of a loved one, divorce, job loss, losses due to chronic illness...) and struggle to find ways to move forward. I work with young adults who are navigating issues of purpose and identity.
(619) 728-2537 View (619) 728-2537
Photo of A-Lisa Miles, PhD, Psychologist
A-Lisa Miles
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92130
Not accepting new clients
I specialize in helping individuals cope with chronic illness and chronic pain and have many years of experience in working with this population and helping them to develop improved coping skills.
I provide psychological treatment and services to address the difficulties associated with a variety of challenges and transitions. My approach to treatment is tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual client and I aim to create an atmosphere where people feel comfortable discussing and exploring their life. I view therapy as a collaboration and partnership between the client and myself. I provide support and guidance to help you identify areas of your life that need improvement or change and help you to set goals and create an action plan that will allow you to grow, shift, and live the life you want for yourself.
I specialize in helping individuals cope with chronic illness and chronic pain and have many years of experience in working with this population and helping them to develop improved coping skills.
I provide psychological treatment and services to address the difficulties associated with a variety of challenges and transitions. My approach to treatment is tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual client and I aim to create an atmosphere where people feel comfortable discussing and exploring their life. I view therapy as a collaboration and partnership between the client and myself. I provide support and guidance to help you identify areas of your life that need improvement or change and help you to set goals and create an action plan that will allow you to grow, shift, and live the life you want for yourself.
(858) 951-1890 View (858) 951-1890
Photo of Rene Martinez, MA, Marriage & Family Therapist Associate
Rene Martinez
Marriage & Family Therapist Associate, MA
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92108  (Online Only)
I characterize my therapeutic approach as imaginative, straightforward, investigative, organized, encouraging, and affirming. I offer several forms of therapy, including narrative, psychodynamic, mindfulness, Latin X, and solutions-focused approaches. I have a wide range of experiences with addiction, abuse and trauma, chronic illness, cultural issues, family dynamics, and transgender challenges. I am also fluent in Spanish when it comes to treatment. I like to travel, spend time with my family, and train my five parrots in my free time.
I characterize my therapeutic approach as imaginative, straightforward, investigative, organized, encouraging, and affirming. I offer several forms of therapy, including narrative, psychodynamic, mindfulness, Latin X, and solutions-focused approaches. I have a wide range of experiences with addiction, abuse and trauma, chronic illness, cultural issues, family dynamics, and transgender challenges. I am also fluent in Spanish when it comes to treatment. I like to travel, spend time with my family, and train my five parrots in my free time.
(619) 257-5126 View (619) 257-5126
Photo of Sandra Block, CP, Psychologist
Sandra Block
Psychologist, CP
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92124
My name is Sandra Block, Ph.D. and I am a licensed clinical psychologist based in Southern California providing in-office and online psychotherapy for children, adolescents, families, couples, and individuals (18-99 years of age) for over 30 years. I specialize in treating anxiety, depression, stress, relationship issues at home and at work, gambling addiction, parenting issues, family/generational conflicts, grief, aging issues, and ongoing stresses of chronic illness.
My name is Sandra Block, Ph.D. and I am a licensed clinical psychologist based in Southern California providing in-office and online psychotherapy for children, adolescents, families, couples, and individuals (18-99 years of age) for over 30 years. I specialize in treating anxiety, depression, stress, relationship issues at home and at work, gambling addiction, parenting issues, family/generational conflicts, grief, aging issues, and ongoing stresses of chronic illness.
(619) 759-6737 View (619) 759-6737
Photo of Kelly Hutton - Kelly Hutton, Grief Therapist , LMFT, Marriage & Family Therapist
Kelly Hutton, Grief Therapist
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
San Diego, CA 92102
As a queer therapist, I love working with the LGBTQIA+ community around grief, loss, aging, and chronic illness.
Welcome! I imagine you have found my profile because you are going through grief, illness or tragedy. I am glad you are here taking the first steps towards support. I specialize in working with grief, loss, end of life issues and chronic illness. Grief therapy can look many different ways, and I tailor the experience of therapy to my clients unique needs. My top priority is that you feel safe in therapy and have space to feel and express your grief openly. I use many modalities to assist my clients in working through grief, including EMDR therapy (eye movement therapy) which is an evidence based treatment for trauma and grief.
As a queer therapist, I love working with the LGBTQIA+ community around grief, loss, aging, and chronic illness.
Welcome! I imagine you have found my profile because you are going through grief, illness or tragedy. I am glad you are here taking the first steps towards support. I specialize in working with grief, loss, end of life issues and chronic illness. Grief therapy can look many different ways, and I tailor the experience of therapy to my clients unique needs. My top priority is that you feel safe in therapy and have space to feel and express your grief openly. I use many modalities to assist my clients in working through grief, including EMDR therapy (eye movement therapy) which is an evidence based treatment for trauma and grief.
(619) 745-1989 View (619) 745-1989
Photo of Joelle Johnson, L, C, S, W, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Joelle Johnson
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, L, C, S, W
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92116  (Online Only)
I am currently at capacity for therapy client's. There are many ways to access mental health information these days from blogs, vlogs, Instagram to Tik-Tok. If you are in need of help for your mental wellness I encourage you to seek a skilled professional to guide you. I have nearly 30 years of experience counseling individuals and families from diverse backgrounds through life events such as family disruption, adoption, infertility, chronic illness and bereavement. I am prepared to help you navigate life’s transitions and challenges with compassion and hope.
I am currently at capacity for therapy client's. There are many ways to access mental health information these days from blogs, vlogs, Instagram to Tik-Tok. If you are in need of help for your mental wellness I encourage you to seek a skilled professional to guide you. I have nearly 30 years of experience counseling individuals and families from diverse backgrounds through life events such as family disruption, adoption, infertility, chronic illness and bereavement. I am prepared to help you navigate life’s transitions and challenges with compassion and hope.
(619) 340-2543 View (619) 340-2543
Photo of Emily Orme, LMFT, Marriage & Family Therapist
Emily Orme
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92111  (Online Only)
I have treated depression, anxiety, stress, child abuse, trauma, adjustment difficulties, conflict, communication difficulties, chronic illness & relationships.
It's great that you are taking an important step to reach out for support. Over the years of working with clients I have learned that many people experience hardship, stress, conflict, and/or pain during their lifetime that they find difficult to navigate on their own. Reaching out for support is a healthy and positive step! Every person's story is unique and I value getting to know each client individually so that I can provide tailored and meaningful therapy. It would be an honor to partner with you on your journey! Please note that I have moved to an all telehealth practice using a secure video platform.
I have treated depression, anxiety, stress, child abuse, trauma, adjustment difficulties, conflict, communication difficulties, chronic illness & relationships.
It's great that you are taking an important step to reach out for support. Over the years of working with clients I have learned that many people experience hardship, stress, conflict, and/or pain during their lifetime that they find difficult to navigate on their own. Reaching out for support is a healthy and positive step! Every person's story is unique and I value getting to know each client individually so that I can provide tailored and meaningful therapy. It would be an honor to partner with you on your journey! Please note that I have moved to an all telehealth practice using a secure video platform.
(760) 683-0986 View (760) 683-0986
Photo of Paul M. Whitaker, PhD, Psychologist
Paul M. Whitaker
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92108
I have been in practice as a licensed psychologist for over twenty years in California. My areas of expertise include depression and anxiety, relationship and intimacy issues, addiction and recovery, stress and anger management,, work-related and life-transition issues,, physical health and chronic illness.
I have been in practice as a licensed psychologist for over twenty years in California. My areas of expertise include depression and anxiety, relationship and intimacy issues, addiction and recovery, stress and anger management,, work-related and life-transition issues,, physical health and chronic illness.
(619) 800-3970 View (619) 800-3970
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Chronic Illness Therapists

How does therapy for chronic illness work?

Many people living with a chronic illness may feel they cannot speak honestly about their experience out of embarrassment or fear of being a burden, or because those close to them do not understand, for example, that they may “look good” even if they do not feel good. Therapy sessions are an opportunity to speak openly with someone who knows their symptoms are not in their head and who can offer practical, proven suggestions for managing feelings of grief, shame, or fatigue, such as techniques to challenge unhelpful thoughts about symptoms and develop new ways to respond to them, such as distraction or calming breathing practices.

Can therapy help with physical symptoms of chronic illness?

Yes, especially if an individual with chronic illness has developed depression. People with depression are less likely to maintain their health treatment regimens or to take positive steps to manage physical symptoms when they arise, thereby potentially complicating their medical prognosis. Treatment of depression, through talk therapy, medication, or both, will often improve one’s physical state as it eases the emotional burden of illness.

What are the most effective treatment options for chronic illness?

No one living with a chronic illness, or their loved ones, should see depression as an unavoidable result of their condition. Instead, they should actively seek treatment. Research shows that people with depression are less likely to devote the required time and effort to maintaining or monitoring their health, and so therapy to limit the risk of depression can be vital for physical health as well. Therapeutic approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness-based stress reduction have been found to help individuals reduce stress and anxiety.

How long does therapy for chronic illness take?

There is no set timeline for therapy for people living with chronic illnesses, but many will see a therapist for a number of weeks or months, typically spanning at least 12 weekly sessions. Some people feel that they experience progress faster than others but even some who quickly feel improvement may continue with sessions for months or years. Some people may benefit from maintenance therapy if their symptoms change or they experience a decline in physical health. Others find that the skills learned in short-term therapy can be used on an ongoing basis, even after therapy has concluded.