We listen and provide validation and empathy for the life difficulties you are experiencing. We discuss your thoughts and difficult emotional states (anxiety, sadness, frustration, guilt, shame).
We help you understand the nature of chronic pain. We help you understand how certain emotions, thoughts, and behaviors can increase pain signaling or decrease pain signaling.
Changing Thought Patterns
Sometimes we have unhelpful thoughts about ourselves, others, or the world. We help you learn to change or disconnect from these thoughts.
Pain, Anxiety, and Sleep Management
We teach mindfulness and relaxation strategies that help you manage pain, anxiety, and improve your sleep. This may include mindfulness practice, deep breathing, body scans, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, and grounding techniques. We teach cognitive and behavioral strategies to help improve your sleep quantity and quality.
Exposure Therapy for Anxiety
We use exposure therapy to help you face your fears and reduce your fear response across time. This is a gradual process and we help you develop coping skills to manage your exposures.
If you have had a trauma, we help you understand how the trauma has affected your beliefs. We have you write about your trauma and its effects on you. In psychotherapy we process your thoughts and feelings and help you challenge beliefs that are holding you back from healing.
We help you activate and create meaning in your life to improve depression. This may involve getting out of the house more, socializing, setting up enjoyable activities, exercising, creating things, or doing more around your house.
Acceptance vs Problem Solving
We help you work towards acceptance of very difficult emotions and situations in your life. We help you figure out when to problem solve a fixable problem and when to accept and actively cope with a situation in which you have limited control.
Career and Relationship Changes
We help you figure out what you want next in your life, if you need to change careers or employers or if you are navigating relationship changes related to injury/illness. We will help you connect with your values and make life goals.
We understand that exercise needs to be tailored to one’s physical abilities at a given point in time. We help promote regular exercise, which helps with mood, anxiety, physical conditioning, healing, and sleep. We also help you navigate the delicate balance between how long to move at once and how long to rest afterward (called pacing).
Tackling Pain Avoidance
Sometimes, when people are in pain they avoid going out or moving much, because they want to feel less pain. We challenge you to reduce excessive pain avoidance, so you can enjoy activities with appropriate modifications.
If you struggle with fears about injections, MRIs, or other procedures, we help you come up with an anxiety management plan.
Optimizing Nutrition and Weight
We help ensure that you have a balanced eating pattern that promotes health, energy, a healthy weight, and pain management. We help you understand any problematic eating patterns you have and change them with cognitive-behavioral strategies. We teach you behavioral weight loss strategies if you are struggling with excess weight.
We help with body dissatisfaction related to weight or injuries that change one’s appearance (burns, amputations, etc.). We help you navigate difficult social situations in which individuals notice or comment on your weight or visible injury.