Cancer Medical Illness


Have you or a loved one just been diagnosed with cancer or a medical illness? Do you find it hard to believe that this illness has happened to you and are struggling to adjust and worried about what you are doing to those around you? Is your family struggling to come to terms with how this diagnosis is affecting your lives? You and your family may feel as though the ability to manage daily life activities has been drastically impacted. The roller coaster of emotions may be hard to take.

You have come to the right place. I provide counseling and psychotherapy to those affected by cancer and medical illness and the people who love them, beginning with diagnosis, through treatment and beyond. I practice a medical family therapy approach to counseling. Medical family therapy has a unique role in counseling those affected by medical illnesses such as cancer. Special attention is paid to the medical illness and its role in the personal life of the patient and the interpersonal dynamics of the family system.

Using this medical family therapy approach, I help clients and their family members address the physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions of living with their unique challenges.

By blending the knowledge of both the medical and emotional aspects of illness, the individual or family is empowered by wisdom, strengths and resources to face the challenges before them.

As a solution-focused therapist, my goal is to help you uncover your true potential and lead a life that is worth celebrating. While we can't change difficult situations of the past, we can work together to better understand and resolve current challenges in your life.

If you're looking for extra support and guidance through a challenging situation, or you're just ready to move in a new direction in your life, I look forward to working with you to achieve your goals.

What you can expect:

  • Compassion, respect and practical guidance
  • Gaining perspective on past patterns and negative feelings
  • Real strategies for enacting positive change
  • A sense of inner calm and self acceptance
  • Greater feelings of empowerment and control over your life

Medical Family Therapy
I specialize in therapy and support for people affected by cancer or medical illness, and the people who love them. My clients include people of all ages, couples and/or families, friends, caregivers, all trying to cope with cancer in their lives. I also see people with a family history of cancer or illness who face uncertainty about their future health.The therapy is designed for you, whatever you are experiencing. With skill, compassion, and intuition, I create a place where you may:

  • Express the full range of your feelings, thoughts and emotions without worrying about the impact on your family and friends.
  • Find effective ways to cope with your shock, anxiety, fear, stress, confusion, anger, guilt, etc.
  • Explore thoughts of "why me" or "what did I do to deserve this."
  • Vent your anger, sadness---rant, rave, sob, and everything in between.
  • Sort through what you want and need from others, and what you don't.
  • Identify and accept your own needs and let You be your priority as you navigate your way through treatment.
  • Make meaning of your experience, what you think and feel about it, how it may influence your perspective, relationships and life.

My style is collaborative and interactive. I take an integrated approach and call upon many theories and techniques as appropriate for you. I will engage with you and together we will explore and address the issues that bring you to therapy.

Treatment specialization includes:

  • Coping with cancer and cancer risk at all stages
  • Chronic/life threatening health conditions
  • Medical and Health Concerns
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Preparing for medical procedures
  • Post Treatment effects
  • Couples issues
  • Family Issues
  • Lifestyle Issues
  • Sexual health and functioning
  • Relationships at home and work
  • Caregiver concerns
  • Grief/Bereavement/Loss
Follow-up care for the rest of your life.
Treatment ends and you think you should feel happy, grateful to be alive, ready to get back to life. Friends and loved ones are thrilled that you made it; you're lauded as a survivor! But maybe you don't feel happy. You might even feel depressed. You may be flooded by a mix of emotions, some bubbling up for the very first time. Life seems unsteady, upside down even. You feel unexpectedly vulnerable, confused, upset. It's important to know that there is nothing odd or unusual here; in fact these kinds of feelings are quite common.
Many people who have been through cancer or medical illness come out of it profoundly altered. You looked mortality in the eye. You faced humiliating poking and prodding, biopsies, lumpectomies, surgeries and more. You may have suffered the removal of a body part and reconstructive surgery. You endured chemotherapy and/or radiation, exhaustion, baldness. It seemed like every part of your body was effected. You lost time from family, work, friends, hobbies, engaging in what made you feel alive and happy. You may wonder, what does it all mean? What is my life all about? Am I content with the status quo? I survived, now, how do I want to live?
From Surviving to Thriving is deep personal work. We can do individual work or join with other men and women in a group format who really "get" what you are going through; express your feelings without worrying about the impact on family and friends; improve communication with the important people in your life; deal with the challenges that illness brings to relationships, trust and intimacy; share joys, sorrows, companionship and wisdom; be accepted and heard.
Some examples of issues that may arise:

Wanting your "old" self or life back.
Fear over the return of cancer.
Emotional and physical scars.
Self image, body image, sexuality.
Old interactions or patterns that aren’t working.
How others are responding to the changes in you.
Inviting the new you out of the old box.
Your hopes, aspirations and goals.

In a comfortable and supportive atmosphere, I offer a highly personalized approach tailored to each of my clients individual needs to help attain the personal growth they’re striving for. Please contact me with any questions or for additional information.

I serve the following communities: Forest Lake, Hugo, Lino Lakes, Wyoming, Stacy, North Branch, Chisago City, Lindstrom, Center City, Taylors Falls, Scandia and Osceola,WI, Hudson, WI, River Falls, WI and Menomonie, WI. Office located in Woodbury, MN and Forest Lake, MN.

Please call or email me for an initial consultation today. I offer a free 30 minute initial consultation so that we can discuss what kind of help you are looking for and to answer questions you may have. I look forward to hearing from you.

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