Therapy for Chronic or Terminal Illness


Doctors’ appointments, finances, insurance, difficulty with your loved ones, more doctors’ appointments, and fear – ever present fear.   You don’t feel like your own body anymore, let alone your thoughts and emotions.  You find yourself having difficulty sleeping, remembering things and getting along with others.  You may find yourself asking “What’s the point?” as you go to another treatment.  Or maybe you’re supposed to be well, but feel like your old life is gone and you don’t know which direction to go. 

 While your friends mean well, you can’t stand to hear another person say:

“If there’s anything you need, let me know”

 “You’re so strong, you’ll get through this.”

“You’re a fighter!”

“If anyone can beat this, you can.”

So, you chose to keep quiet or put on a happy face, or only engage in surface-level conversations, as a way to just get through another day.


Overcome living with chronic illness, diabetes and anxiety, cancer and depression

Living with Chronic Illness

Help is just a call away. Call Counseling with Melissa today.


If any of the above resonated with you, you are not alone.  As a medical social worker with fifteen years experience, I have seen the worst of the worst – and the best of the best – and understand what goes into successful recovery from the psychological and social effects of chronic or terminal illness.  You don’t have to just survive – you can thrive.

As a therapist who focuses on the mind, body, soul, and spirit, trained in medical social work, I can help you befriend yourself and your deepest values while dealing with the practical challenges that come with a new diagnosis.  I can help you:

  • Reduce stress and achieve a greater sense of calm and ease, allowing you to sleep better and be more present for your loved ones

  • Become more intentional about how you live your life and where you devote your energy

  • Help you befriend the concept of “death and dying” so it doesn’t rule your life and you can live more meaningful, joy-filled existence

  • Challenge unhelpful thoughts about your illness that keep you stuck

  • Let go of guilt, blame or shame connected with your diagnosis

  • Achieve reconciliation with others

  • Make sense of the complicated medical system where you receive treatment

Is Therapy for Chronic or Terminal Illness Something I Need?

After a chronic or terminal illness diagnosis, therapy can help individuals and their loved ones navigate the difficulties inherent in these situations. People who have received a diagnosis, their family, and their friends, may experience a range of complex responses, and therapy can provide necessary support by helping these individuals and their loved ones:

  • Understand and process feelings of anxiety, depression, and grief that are natural following a profound medical diagnosis

  • Work through plans for the future and how the diagnosis will impact their lives moving forward

  • Discuss wills, estate planning, and other end-of-life plans

  • Deal with potentially difficult transitional experiences, including shifts in caregiver roles and other changes

  • Improve coping skills to minimize the effects of anxiety and worry, including improving sleep, relieving stress, and practicing good self-care

  • Generally, find more peace in their time together and make time for joyful experiences

How Can Therapy Help Me & My Loved Ones at This Time?

Meet with a therapist who can treat living with chronic illness, diabetes and anxiety, cancer and depression. Your therapist talks you through your treatment and offers psychological support with regular visits and unlimited messaging.

Melissa is happy to work with individuals who have received chronic or terminal illness diagnosis and their families.  Receiving a medical diagnosis can be hard on anyone, especially if there is a potential for death. The individual who receives the diagnosis may need to process complex emotions as they grieve for the life plans they may not have the opportunity to see through or that need to be adjusted based on medical limitations. Their loved ones and family members may have a tough time offering them the support they need as they process their own grief. Individuals, couples, or family therapy can offer the necessary support to allow you to work through the difficult transitions while finding more joy in the days ahead.

Commonly treated conditions include:

Get help managing living with chronic illness, diabetes and anxiety, cancer and depression

No insurance needed. 

HSA/FSA eligible.


Get started with simple steps

Online Therapy Appointment

Schedule an appointment

Click on the link located below to make an appointment. This will bring up my currently available sessions. Click the green button for the session you would like. You may be given an option to add yourself to the Wait List if the session date and time is full.

Online Therapy Appointment

Hop on a phone call with Melissa

Let’s chat. Just a few short questions to help us understand your unique situation. Personalized discussion about treatment options.

Continued care

You'll meet regularly with your therapist to discuss progress and chat to stay on track.

Get help managing living with chronic illness, diabetes and anxiety, cancer and depression

A simple approach to personalized care

You’re unique, and your care should be too. If you suffer from depression or anxiety, Counseling with Melissa provides the personalized care you need. We’ll help you achieve your personal goals and help you work out how long you should be on treatment given your situation.

Depression and Anxiety

Overcoming anxiety is possible. Let’s beat this together.

If you’re having a mental health emergency, call 911, go to the nearest emergency room.

You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255 or text “home” to 741-741.

Relief for living with chronic illness

What is Depression?

Depression is significant for approximately 1 in 4 people with life changing illness and is especially common in those with metastatic cancer.

Persistent feelings of hopelessness and worthless and/or suicidal ideation.   Symptoms of depression can overlap with those of grief, a normal aspect of living with chronic illness.


  • Tearfulness, depressed appearance
  • Social withdrawal, decreased talkativeness
  • Brooding, self-pity, pessimism
  • Lack of reactivity, blunting

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a state of apprehension and fear resulting from the perception of a current or future threat to oneself.

Anxiety is commonly reported in those facing life-threatening illnesses. At least 25% and cancer patients and 50% of CHF and COPD patients experience significant anxiety.


  • Anxiety is often a prominent component of acute or chronic pain, shortness of breath, nausea, or irregular heartbeat.
  • Adverse drug effects
  • Drug withdrawal
  • Metabolic causes: hyperthyroidism and syndromes of the endocrine system
  • Existential and psychosocial concerns about dying, disability, loss, legacy, family, finances, and religion/spirituality.

How to get help for living with chronic illness

Get help managing living with chronic illness, diabetes and anxiety, cancer and depression

What Happens During Therapy?

Like therapy to offer support in any other situations, Melissa will partner with you to understand your needs and help you develop a plan to achieve counseling goals. During therapy sessions, you can work with her to process the emotions that come along with a chronic or terminal illness diagnosis, develop coping skills to manage difficult moments, and make plans for yourself and your loved ones.

Chronic diseases are defined broadly as conditions that last 1 year or more and require ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living or both. Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes are the leading causes of disability in the United States.

Major chronic diseases:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
  • Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
  • Asthma
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Cancer
  • Long-haul COVID-19

Get help managing living with chronic illness, diabetes and anxiety, cancer and depression

Melissa Jones

The benefits of online mental health services

Let's Take the First Step of Your Journey Together

Taking the first step to feeling better and living a more meaningful life isn’t easy, but you don’t have to take that step alone.

Take the first step towards feeling better

Get help managing living with chronic illness, diabetes and anxiety, cancer and depression


Help is just a call away. Call today.