Dr. Gary

We often talk about identity these days, from a variety of perspectives. But the focus of my work is chronic and catastrophic conditions, so I think more about identity from that perspective. Living with a medical diagnosis can affect how others view us, as well as how we view ourselves. That includes labeling ourselves as […]

We all need validation.  On some days more than others.  When you hit one of those days, here’s what you can do: Remember that validation starts from within.  Therapists spend a lot of time talking with their clients about validation.  My approach is always to start with helping my client to understand the ways in […]

It seems like the word fear has popped up a lot lately.  The political situation.  The pandemic.  Just two name a couple of the latest reasons to experience fearful thoughts lately. My clients often talk about another reason for fear.  Their medical diagnosis.  I most often hear this from newly-diagnosed clients, who are still processing […]

I am not a big fan of winter. As I get older, I think I get less fond of winter every year. January and February are, to me, the worst months. However, where I live, in New York, it’s pretty cold from November into April. Still, March will offer a glimmer, just a glimmer, of […]

Be aware that mental health diagnoses like depression and anxiety may occur concurrently with chronic conditions and chronic pain.  The word co-morbidity would apply here.  And I can say from my own personal experience as a psychotherapist that many of my clients living with chronic conditions and chronic pain do indeed have a dual diagnosis […]

One of the conversations I have most often with my clients is about situations in which they are not being listened to.  Ignored.  Sidelined.  Treated as if they are invisible.   Feeling left to suffer with their chronic pain alone.  In a word: marginalized. And keep in mind that that the result of being marginalized can leave […]

Words are powerful. The words you use when you talk to other people, and the words you use in your own mind. Including the words you use to describe yourself. As humans, we have a way of living up to our labels. So if you are constantly putting yourself down, giving yourself labels like “loser,” […]

I often talk with clients about their loneliness, their challenges in meeting people and building a support network. It has been my recent experience that the COVID-19 isolation has intensified the feelings of loneliness for many people, whether or not they are living with a chronic condition. Take a look at my article on building […]

Glad, sad, mad, scared, ashamed…?  These are some of the words therapists use to help get their clients started on identifying their feelings.  You might be using these words, among many others, to identify your own feelings.  If so, good for you!  However, you might also find yourself to be not so comfortable in talking […]