Counseling with Compassion: A LiveWell Client Testimonial
- Category: Mental Health
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After Michaelle was diagnosed with long COVID in 2021, she was experiencing chronic fatigue and severe anxiety that significantly affected her daily routine. With COVID restrictions lifting, she was expected to return to her office full-time.
After visiting various doctors, Michaelle was referred to LiveWell Counseling to receive mental health support for the long COVID symptoms she was battling.
At LiveWell Counseling, clients will see a psychiatrist for an assessment and receive a personalized treatment plan to address their individual mental health concerns. The psychiatrist will often recommend medication to alleviate symptoms and counseling with a licensed therapist to learn coping methods and work through difficult emotions.
Dr. Monica Dhingra, LiveWell Psychiatrist, and Elizabeth Rogalin, LiveWell Therapist, have been instrumental in helping alleviate Michaelle’s symptoms through medication management and talk therapy.
“You can only hide long COVID for as long when you’re able to work from home,” she said. “I ended up leaving my full-time employment, and I’ve been working with Elizabeth and Dr. Dhingra ever since. I talk with Elizabeth every week, and I see Dr. Dhingra for my medications.”
Michaelle says her one-on-one virtual talk therapy sessions with Elizabeth have had such a crucial impact on her improvement because of the comfortable and trusting connection they have established.
“We clicked right away,” she explained. “I’ve seen therapists here and there throughout the years, but I never felt comfortable speaking with anybody until I met Elizabeth. She’s easy to speak to, and she’s always reachable for me if there’s a crisis. She’s been absolutely wonderful.”
Trust is an essential component in mental health care because many clients feel vulnerable when seeking treatment or hesitant to share their fears or worries with a professional. At LiveWell, treating clients with compassion and empathy is a pivotal part of our mission to ensure they always feel supported and heard and are encouraged to continue their treatment for as long as they need it.
“The comfort level I have from talking to her since day one has made me continue with her through these last two years,” said Michaelle. “It’s been a wonderful relationship. She’s helped me understand that anxiety is not something that you can see, like a broken arm that heals in six to eight weeks. It’s under the surface. I think the biggest thing she’s helped me realize is that I don’t have to prove to everybody that I’m sick – it’s there, it’s real.”
Many people living with anxiety have good days and bad days – recovery is not always linear but rather focused on learning effective coping methods to handle triggers as they come and making slow but significant progress. In therapy, it’s important for clients to recognize that treatment is a journey and for their therapist to support them each step of the way.
“I could be doing the most normal thing and it sneaks up on me,” she said. “Anxiety comes and goes, but the improvement I’ve seen is in my ability to take a step back out into the world and make a little progress – even if it’s going to a grocery store at noon instead of 7 a.m. when nobody is there. I was able to do things with my husband again, like going to a wedding – that’s huge for me. Elizabeth helps me be prepared to overcome my anxiety when it happens. She has given me a big part of my life back that I didn’t have.”
Michelle’s chronic fatigue has also affected her mental wellness. Working with a therapist has not only helped her focus her energy productively but also avoid the internal guilt she feels when she’s not feeling 100 percent – especially as a mom.
“Therapy has helped me focus on the times of day when I’m most clear headed and energetic, as well as give myself a break if I can’t do something.” she said. “When you’re a mom, you’re the do-all; you’re the go-to for everything. Elizabeth helped me realize that as a mom, you’re able to do so much for so many people at all times of the day, but you forget about yourself. She’s helping me learn to care for myself and give myself a break instead of beating myself up.”
At LiveWell, it’s a priority to make sure our clients never feel alone. Michaelle attributes her positive experience with LiveWell and the significant improvement therapy has had on her life to the kindness and accessibility of the doctors and therapists – particularly Elizabeth, who she is able to text whenever she is in crisis.
“It is a wonderful organization,” she said. “I’ve been recommending LiveWell every chance I get.”
Is LiveWell Counseling Right for You?
If you think you would benefit from mental health treatment for anxiety or another mental health issue, we can help. To learn more about LiveWell Counseling and our options for mental health treatment, including medication management, one-on-one counseling, and group therapy, please visit ChristianHealthNJ.info/LiveWell or call (201) 848-5800.