FAQ

What if I have already tried other mindbody or brain retraining techniques without full success? What else do you have to offer?

I assess what you have done comprehensively. Often, there are missing pieces I help you learn, like still holding onto fear of damage in your body, continuing with body-based treatments, needing to process emotions, focusing on tools too intensely, or missing the self-compassion, joy, and meaning in your life.

How do you evaluate if I have a brain-signaling condition that you can help?

Together, we review your history extensively: what started the symptoms, the patterns, test results, and other clinicians’ opinions. We ‘gather evidence’ to rule in a brain-signaling cause. Most patients can determine after the first appointment and within the first month if this is the right path for them.

How do you work with patients?

The most effective way to work together is through individual appointments via Zoom or in person (in Portland, Oregon). I see patients every 1-4 weeks based on their needs. Other supplemental information can help to learn all of the different pieces. This can be done through my classes or other materials I can share.

Should I do the class or work individually?

It can be most effective to attend the class in addition to some individual appointments. The class is a more cost-effective way to learn the majority of the information as well as provide good social support. The class by itself is very helpful, but sometimes it can be difficult to apply the concepts completely for yourself without individual appointments. However, I work with patients in all capacities, whatever your preference: individually, the class only, or a combination.

How many one-on-one sessions will this take?

It is variable depending on how much you already know about this model and how much other learning you do. Sometimes, it just takes a few appointments to provide the missing pieces, and sometimes many appointments ongoing over time. Ultimately, the appointments are finite. Once you learn the tools, you no longer need to see me, and can use them for the rest of your life. 

What if I cannot afford your services?

My primary interest is for more people to know this pathway is out there with the potential to get better. I am happy to work with you in a way you can afford. There are many places to get a lot of this information for free or at a very lost cost. See my resources page. 

What about medicines?

The tools to get better do not entail medicines. If there is a medicine you have found helpful and is safe and tolerated, it is certainly fine to take it. If you want to get off of your medicines for any reason, I often recommend starting with the tools to get better first. As your symptoms improve, you can then wean down the medicines (with my assistance if you are in Oregon or Washington, or through your own doctor if elsewhere). I rarely prescribe medicines. 

How is this different from CBT or the therapy I have done in the past?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) concepts are important to incorporate. However, it largely involves thinking in the conscious brain. It is the unconscious automatic brain that is involved in creating these neural circuits, which needs to be addressed in other ways. Using neural (pain) reprocessing techniques, processing emotions, and expressive writing addresses and changes the unconscious brain’s neural circuits. It is also important to start with the understanding that your body is not broken, but rather faulty signaling is the root of the problem. 

How is this different from the chronic pain management clinic I have been to?

Many traditional pain management clinics use a biopsychosocial model of pain with some nervous system calming techniques. However, it often does not fully reinforce that there is no damage in the body. Recommendations to do body-based treatments such as injections, procedures, and medicines can reinforce to the brain that the body is damaged, which contributes to continuing the cycle of fear and symptoms. 

How does this apply to long COVID and Chronic fatigue syndrome?

For many with long COVID and CFS/ME the root of the problem is also due to faulty brain-signaling stuck in place, rather than damage in the body. Every individual needs to be assessed fully by a physician first however. If the assessment reveals no structural cause for the symptoms, it is likely to be helped with this neuroplastic model. See my introductory video about long COVID to learn more about how this model applies https://youtu.be/eywxEFGohcI

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