ENCORE: When Chronic Health Concerns are Dismissed

Welcome to a new season of STC! Today’s conversation is different from the typical STC session, as it was inspired by a thread created in the STC community about healthcare providers dismissing legitimate medical concerns. This situation is one that you might encounter personally or with your clients, so I hope you’ll find our conversation helpful and informative. Join us!

Our Featured Guest

Danielle Hughes, MA, LPC

Danielle Hughes is in private practice in Loveland, CO. Danielle shared her perspective in the STC community as someone with a chronic illness who struggled for 12 years to get a proper diagnosis. She interacted with several healthcare providers who didn’t believe that her physical issues could be attributed to anything other than stress and trauma.

It’s been quite a journey for Danielle, who was just recently diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that truly affects her energy levels on a daily basis. In today’s session, Danielle shares her story and the challenges she has overcome

with the fortitude to keep going when doctors attributed her problems to psychological issues. We also dive deep into practical questions you can ask in

sessions with clients who have chronic illnesses and related psychological concerns.

Find Danielle Hughes on Facebook and Instagram, @daniellehughesLPC

You’ll Learn:

  • About Danielle’s health journey that began with joint pain and fatigue in college
  • How she was dismissed by the medical community as her physical concerns were attributed to stress for 12 years
  • How Danielle found the fortitude to keep pushing forward with multiple doctors and specialists to get a diagnosis of an autoimmune disease
  • About the route Danielle took with her PCP, the VA system, and multiple specialists
  • Danielle’s advice for clinicians dealing with clients with physical issues in addition to psychological concerns
  • Why it’s important to believe the client and not relate everything to trauma or anxiety
  • How clinicians can be most helpful by asking questions and being supportive to understand the whole of the client’s life
  • Why we should respond with compassion and curiosity when we are tempted to assume there’s nothing wrong with someone who appears “fine”
  • About a typical day/week for Danielle, a clinician in private practice with a chronic autoimmune disease
  • How Danielle deals with days when she struggles to function as a clinician


Want to launch your online course?

Please check out our free 7-Day Course Creator Starter Kit For Therapists

Looking to launch a successful podcast?

Please check out our free "Using Podcasting To Grow Your Business" workshop for therapists

Mentioned in this episode:

Check Out PsycCareers!

If you’re a psychology professional who is ready to take the next step in their career, check out PsycCareers, the American Psychological Association Services, Inc’s career center. PsycCareers is home to over 400 open positions tailored specifically for psychology professionals. Start your journey today by exploring opportunities that inspire and challenge you at sellingthecouch.com/apa.

About the Podcast

Show artwork for Selling the Couch
Selling the Couch
Impact And Income Beyond The Therapy Room

About your host

Profile picture for Melvin Varghese, PhD

Melvin Varghese, PhD

Hi. I'm Melvin. I'm a psychologist, girl dad, and online creator living in Philadelphia, PA.

In 2014, I began to think about how to use our therapist skillset in different realms besides clinical work (e.g., podcasting, consulting, online course creation, writing, etc).

This allows us to serve others on larger scales while diversifying our income beyond 1 to 1 work.

I make podcasts and videos about business, tech, productivity, and lessons I'm learning from becoming the CEO of a lean, mean 5 person 100% remote team (we're not really mean..it just rhymed =P).