Session 166: Dealing with Chronic Illness While Maintaining Private Practice



How can a clinician deal with chronic illness? Is it possible to continue running your business and furthering your career? This is a topic I’ve wanted to dive into because I know many of my private practice colleagues are dealing with some form of chronic illness or chronic pain. We all know that life and your business don’t stop when illness strikes, so let’s jump into this discussion.

Daniela Paolone, MS, LMFT, is a counselor in Westlake Village, CA. She’s here to discuss her journey with chronic illness while maintaining her private practice and to teach us what she’s learned. There are some good pearls of wisdom in our conversation around having self-compassion and not falling prey to comparisons.

What We’ll Learn

  • Inside Daniela’s journey, which has forced her to be more intentional with strategies, finding the path of least resistance, and pacing herself in realistic ways
  • Having realistic expectations and self-compassion amid the internal and external pressure
  • “If I’m not taking care of my health, then not only am I suffering and in pain, but I’m losing days of work in my practice and falling short of my goals.”
  • The help Daniela finds in meeting twice monthly with local colleagues for support and to keep a reality check on comparisons and self-doubt
  • Why she tries to have a daily focus on 1-2 things, keeping a short-term list and a long-term goals list
  • Why it’s important to pay attention to incremental goals in the short-term to make sure they align with your long-term goals
  • Daniela’s goal for 2018 was to do more free presentations in the community on stress management and pain management (She and a colleague have partnered to do 5 so far!)
  • Creative marketing and networking ideas because of physical limitations: Skype, FaceTime, and Facebook
  • Daniela’s work with clients like herself–those in chronic pain
  • The benefits of technology in expanding networking opportunities beyond what anyone would have ever dreamed (It’s all about building authentic relationships!)
  • How she sought out other therapists who work with chronic pain and illness
  • How the overall business strategy has to modify in the face of chronic illness
  • How Daniela has changed her schedule to allow more flexibility for herself and her clients and how online counseling works best for her during the week
  • Daniela’s flexible appointment options that have resonated with clients
  • How Daniela has become a better business owner because she has become more intentional in evaluating everything for alignment with her goals
  • Supporting herself and pacing herself with conserving energy when possible
  • For Daniela, it’s about looking at the big picture, where she’s come from, and how her coping strategies have evolved
  • The specific ways Daniela takes care of herself daily: using online therapy appointments, allowing time between clients, essential oils, tapping and EFT, limiting her daily clients, and keeping Friday as a client-free day


Daniela’s Private Practice is called Westlake Village Counseling, and her website is at Westlake Village Counseling

Daniela is also offering an awesome free guided meditation when you sign up for email updates on her latest offerings and presentations (you can sign up on her homepage)..

Books: Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff and The ONE Thing by Jay Papasan

Today’s Sponsor Brighter Vision

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