top of page

Therapy for Chronic Illness 

What ages does the Center for CBT treat for chronic illness?

Kids, Teens, and Adults

What is a chronic illness?

A chronic illness is an ongoing and long-lasting condition that may affect mental, physical, and emotional health. It is not uncommon for children and adults with a chronic illness to endorse anxiety, maladaptive thinking patterns and behaviors, and depression.

Children and Adolescents With Chronic Illness

Will my child benefit from psychological assistance for their chronic illness?

Coping with a chronic illness poses challenges for your child and may result in difficulties for you and your family, as well. Please note that initial regression after the onset of the illness is normal, but if it persists and begins to impair daily functioning, psychological support may be helpful. Your child may be a good candidate for seeking psychological support for their chronic illness if they present with any of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty regulating emotions since the illness

  • Difficulty talking about and accepting their chronic illness and related symptoms 

  • Treatment or medication refusal

  • Behavioral regression (e.g., social struggles, difficulties completing activities of daily living or requiring excessive support to do so)

What is the most effective psychological treatment for children with a chronic illness?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most effective and reliable evidence-based treatment for children and families coping with chronic illness. At the Center for CBT, cognitive-behavioral techniques will be used to support your child through the various phases of coping with chronic illness, including initial diagnosis and ongoing treatment. The specific tools taught are tailored to your treatment goals, but typically entail teaching your child a variety of strategies to assist in emotion management, medication adherence, and self-esteem. Additionally, parents are taught highly effective strategies to help support their child’s progress and maintain it long-term.  At the Center for CBT, we aim to instill hope and resilience that will allow your child to see themselves and the world in a positive way amidst their chronic illness.  

Adults With Chronic Illness

How do I know if I may benefit from psychological support for my chronic illness in adulthood?

Adjusting to life with a chronic illness can come with a range of emotional, behavioral, and cognitive challenges. Whether you are newly diagnosed, undergoing treatment, or in a current state of healing, we assure you that you are not alone. Some signs that you may benefit from treatment with us for a chronic illness may be:

  • Low mood

  • Racing thoughts that are difficult to control

  • Avoidance of medical treatment and other behaviors that are recommended for promoting optimal physical health in the context of chronic illness

  • Frequently engaging in reassurance seeking behaviors (e.g., googling, asking for reassurance from loved ones, overutilizing medical services)

  • Feelings of hopelessness

  • Difficulty with regulating intense emotions, such as anger and fear 

  • Feelings of loneliness and isolation

  • Struggles with acceptance of the illness or symptoms 

What is the most effective psychological treatment for adults with a chronic illness?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most effective and reliable evidence-based treatment for adults coping with chronic illness. Meaning-Centered Psychotherapy (MCPT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Pain (CBT-CP) are two CBT-based approaches that can be particularly helpful for improving mood, fostering self-compassion, and promoting more adaptive thoughts and behaviors in relation to chronic illness and can significantly improve one’s overall quality of life.   

Adults With Chronic Illness
bottom of page