Long-term Health Conditions/Persistent Physical Symptoms

Persistent physical symptoms are not always able to be explained by medical professionals, and can go hand-in-hand with psychological difficulties such as low mood and anxiety. They can be triggered by life events, infections/other health problems, or a combination of illness and stress. Clients may develop unhelpful cycles of thoughts, feelings, and behaviour that exacerbate their problems in the long-term, as a way of coping with (often disabling) symptoms. There is good evidence to suggest that CBT can help find alternative ways of coping that may be more helpful.

 

It is estimated that around 15 million people in England live with a chronic medical condition. Adjusting to life with a long-term health condition is a challenging process (process being the key word). Clients typically experience changes to physical function, lifestyle, and identity, in addition to changes in emotional and/or cognitive function. These can have a significant impact on client wellbeing and quality of life.

There is good evidence to show that ‘Acceptance and Commitment Therapy’ techniques, in addition to CBT, can help you to manage your symptoms. I have also received training to use a new integrative psychological approach (IMACC) to help with psychological adjustment to long-term health conditions. I provide support and evidence-based interventions, and self-management tools. I work with clients to help them achieve change, acceptance, hope and motivation, and build confidence in their ability to cope with the ‘new normal’.