WHEN DISEASE TELLS ME TO STOP
While talking to my clients in my office in Warsaw, I have learned that many of them decided for psychological consultation influenced by a reflection brought by a disease or some somatic symptoms. Their specific stories are very different: cancer blocking a promising corporate career, problems with getting pregnant seriously impeding “ideal life plan”, unexpected hospital treatment just before long-awaited holiday or simply a rash that for unknown reasons has deteriorated and does not allow focus your mind.
During the initial meetings of psychological assistance or psychotherapy sessions, I often find out that the somatic disease sent a “stop” signal to my client, making him or her reflect on their life and routine. Was it too much stress? Problems with coping with intense emotions? Difficulties in setting boundaries? Trying to make everybody happy by our behaviour, which is impossible to achieve?
I usually learn all those with time, when during psychotherapeutic meetings together with the client we look for deeper or broader reasons for the problems arising in their lives. Usually, at the beginning of a psychotherapy, a somatic symptom that stops the client in every day routine and motivates for reflection over their life, is a signal of losing equilibrium. A common reflection is “Perhaps if I had paid more attention to myself earlier, my mindset and health, all this would not have happened” and this reflection motivates the clients to talk to a psychologist and begin a therapy.
My office provides psychological counselling services with regard to coping with severe or chronic disease. I offer support to both the sick persons and their families who find it difficult to cope with the situation.
Other of my clients were suggested by a doctor, or even several doctors, that their disease has mainly psychological grounds. These people had first noticed physical symptoms and tried to identify somatic reasons. They undergo numerous medical tests, visit various medical specialists, try different therapies. It is only later when they find out that onset or development of symptoms may be caused by intense emotions, prolonged stress or unsolved problems. During the psychological consultation they are not sure whether the suggestions of specialists and their families make any sense. Only with time they accept the need to use psychological assistance or a psychotherapy.
PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT IN SEVERE OR CHRONIC DISEASE
Some diseases may not have psychological grounds, but have strong influence on our state of mind. This applies mainly to severe or chronic diseases.
The patients suffer intensively, usually for many reasons: pain, weakness, fear regarding themselves and their relatives, loss of physical abilities, discontinuation of usual activities, side effects of medicines, etc.
A psychologist working with a sick person may become a companion and support. With a calm voice that helps to them to relax and distance themselves, the psychologist teaches the client to cope with painful experiences and emotions. The psychologist offers a helpful hand to comfort them in a difficult moment, support them in a moment of weakness and mobilise to fight when needed. A good therapist is at the same time a companion and a partner in seeking answers to the most challenging questions: about the general sense, the ultimate goal or about the future.
By using psychological assistance, a severely sick person may gain strength and become more effective in fighting the disease and taking care to suffer less in the future. If recovery is not possible and the client and his or her relatives must confront approaching death, they may decide to take actions to best utilise the time that they still have.
Psychological support in long-term and severe disease
I invite you to use the psychotherapeutic assistance offered at my office to the people severely and chronically sick. Therapeutic support may be useful both to the sick persons and their family. Appropriate assistance by an experienced psychologist may significantly reduce psychological impact of difficult health situations. Strengthening of the patient, raising their spirit and increasing their immunity to future health challenges also should not be underestimated. Individual therapy at my office in Warsaw may prove to be the best solution.
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If you need psychological help, contact me.