At some point in our lives, most of us will experience a significant illness. But as a society, we don’t support each other through all that comes with a diagnosis. Whether you’ve just been diagnosed with a chronic illness, or you’ve recently been told to consider palliative or hospice care, chances are you might be trying to navigate through a whole range of emotions.
I firmly believe that counseling is an opportunity to hold space for everything that comes up as someone processes a serious illness. In addition to offering tangible strategies that will help you navigate each new day with your diagnosis, we can also work together to untangle new perspectives. Illness can give all of us, not just those with a diagnosis, the nudge to live each day more fully and intentionally. If you’re ready, we can explore together what it might look like to soften fears around illness, losing independence, and dying.
Many people who have a serious illness have experienced the frustration of well-meaning loved ones just missing the mark. It may seem as if receiving a diagnosis gives everyone around you license to offer unsolicited advice or they pass it off as no big deal. Regardless of the level of support that surrounds you right now, I can help the strength already within you to flourish and help you create a truly supportive community for yourself.
New Diagnosis Counseling
Grief is inherently wrapped up in receiving a new diagnosis, even if we don’t always think of it that way. Coming to terms with new changes in your health is no easy feat, and it’s more of a journey than a quick box to check off a list. Counseling can offer techniques to manage these new stressors.
Chronic Illness Counseling
Managing a chronic illness can be draining and feel all-consuming, but there is power in learning how to manage, and thrive, in spite of one. You may have cancer, but cancer patient is not solely who you are. Wherever you are in your understanding and management of your diagnosis, counseling can help to set aside the expectations others have of you and affirm your own hopes and wishes for yourself.
End of Life Counseling
Despite the fact that none of us will get out of this life alive, we don’t often put much thought into what the end will look like, or what we want it to look like. Thinking about dying can be hard, but it’s often our fear of the unknown that makes it harder. Whether you’re looking to talk through some of your fears around illness and dying, or looking to take concrete steps to prepare, these are some of the areas I offer counseling in:
- Navigating family disagreements about care
- Leaving a legacy
- Dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease at end of life
- Creating your personal comfort plan
- When to consider palliative or hospice care (comfort care)
- Voluntarily Stopping Eating & Drinking (VSED)
- Death with Dignity / Medical Aid in Dying (Colorado End-of-Life Options Act)
- Planning for final disposition, including Eco-friendly options (burial, cremation (water or flame, body donation)
Looking to take concrete steps, get your affairs in order and get some peace of mind? I offer Advance Health Care Planning.
Support Groups & Workshops
Groups & workshops incorporating therapeutic writing, hands on/wilderness interventions, music therapy, and/or mindfulness are held throughout the year depending on interest and availability, often in partnership with other area clinicians. To stay in the loop about upcoming groups or for community resources, join my mailing list.