Q&A with an Expert
Our Q&A with an Expert resource contains detailed answers to many common questions regarding TMS. Our panel of experts include some of the leading doctors in the field (see below for a list).
- 1 Answered Questions
- 2 How to Ask a Question
- 3 The Experts
- 3.1 Frances Sommer Anderson, PhD, SEP
- 3.2 Audrey Berdeski, Chiropractor and Licensed Professional Counselor
- 3.3 Dave Clarke, MD
- 3.4 Alan Gordon, LCSW
- 3.5 Barbara Kline, LCSW-C
- 3.6 Georgie Oldfield, MCSP
- 3.7 David Schechter, MD
- 3.8 Howard Schubiner, MD
- 3.9 Eric Sherman, PsyD
- 3.10 John Stracks, MD
- 3.11 Peter Zafirides, MD
- Is reading a TMS or PPD book just as effective as going to a practitioner? Should I do one over the other?
- Must my therapist believe in TMS?
- I like my therapist, but she doesn't know about TMS. Now what?
- Can a person with TMS go to a therapist who uses CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy)?
- Can I start TMS treatment while still taking pain medicines?
- When should I stop taking pain medications during my TMS recovery?
- Should my daughter try physiotherapy first?
- How can I prevent a conditioned response?
Family and Friends
- I have a lot of stress. Is is 'safe' for me to start a program?
- When we have current stress should we focus on current stress and ignore past trauma?
- Can simply having ongoing stress in my life be the main factor in PPD/TMS?
- Does a diagnosis of "nerve impingement" definitely mean that my pain is structural?
- How do I know my pain is not being caused by my bulging disc?
- Is fibrous scarring around nerve roots likely to cause pain?
- Is there such a thing as exercise induced TMS?
- How do I tell the difference between injury (overuse) and TMS?
- Is it possible that the pain from diagnosed "degenerative facet disease" is really TMS?
- Is it possible that "trigger finger" is a manifestation of TMS?
- Why is my pain sometimes replaced by anxiety?
- What is the relationship between food allergies and PPD/TMS?
- Can TMS/PPD cause swelling?
- Can allergies be TMS?
- What's the difference between Conversion Syndrome and TMS?
- "Runner's knee" or TMS?
- What is the relationship between RSD and TMS?
- Can sleep problems be addressed using TMS theory?
- How do I handle an acute relapse?
- How do I overcome initial unconscious resistance to "the work"?
- My pain started long ago. Will it take a longer time to get rid of it?
- How do I know that it's safe to resume normal activities?
- Therapy for TMS-based RSI in the San Diego area.
- Learning to feel emotions rather than suppressing them.
- Getting unstuck.
- Can I really ignore the crippling pain of TMS?
- Addressing serious medical issues along with typical TMS symptoms.
- Is adopting bad posture to avoid pain, a mistake?
- How to deal with a potential relapse trigger.
- How do I break my obsession with TMS symptoms?
- Can I use the TMS approach with acute (short term) symptoms?
- Severe TMS sufferer, diagnosed as fibromyalgia. Help!
- What are some ways for me to feel my feelings?
- What's the best way for me to deal with my fear
- Overcoming fear of a structural diagnosis.
- I believe I have TMS but was diagnosed with a disc bulge and I am fearful of getting hurt.
- I've addressed some of my underlying emotions, why isn't my pain going away?
How to Ask a Question
Unfortunately, we are no longer able to process new questions. However, we do have a different program, called Ask A TMS Therapist, which essentially replaces this question. Click here to learn about the Ask A TMS Therapist program and click here to ask your question.
For faster feedback from people who have recovered or are recovering from their own TMS, you can also ask any questions in our Peer Support Subforum.
Frances Sommer Anderson, PhD, SEP
Dr. Anderson is a licensed psychologist and holds a Certificate of Specialization in Psychoanalysis from the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. In 1979 she began working with Dr. John Sarno treating patients with back pain and other stress-related physical symptoms. Dr. Sarno has called her one of his most trusted psychologists. She is co-author of the book Pathways to Pain relief, a book about how to recover from TMS. Dr. Anderson was a speaker at the 2nd Annual TMS Conference in March 2010. (Source)
Audrey Berdeski, Chiropractor and Licensed Professional Counselor
Dr. Audrey Berdeski has been a Chiropractor in Sterling Heights, MI for over 20 years. She also earned a Master's degree in Counseling, and practices as a Counselor in Clinton Twp., MI. She has completed a post-master's specialization in mental health, where she researched and presented on Dr. Sarno's work. She works with TMS clients at her Sterling Heights office at the present time.
Dave Clarke, MD
Dr. Clarke is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology. He has received recognition for excellence throughout his career. Dr Clarke lectures frequently on stress illness in North America and Europe and has done over 100 interviews on television and radio since 2007. Dr. Clarke presented a lecture called Connecting Stress to Physical Symptoms, at the 2nd Annual TMS Conference in Los Angeles. He is the International Clinical Adviser to the UK based Stress Illness Recovery Practitioner's Association (SIRPA) created by Georgie Oldfield. Dr. Clarke also wrote the book They Can't Find Anything Wrong.
Alan Gordon, LCSW
Alan Gordon is a LCSW psychotherapist specialized in treating chronic pain, and practices in California. He has extensive experience working with TMS clients suffering from back and neck pain, RSI, fibromyalgia, IBS, tendonitis, pelvic pain, chronic headaches, and other pain disorders. He is on the board of the PPDA and organized the 2010 LA Mindbody Conference. He is also the Executive Director of the Pain Psychology Center in Los Angeles.
Barbara Kline, LCSW-C
Barbara Kline is a licensed certified clinical social worker with a private psychotherapy practice in Hagerstown, MD. After being cured of back pain 17 years ago using Dr. Sarno's methods, she went back to school so that she could get a degree and help others find relief from their suffering. Frustrated by questions that the medical community could not answer while she was experiencing TMS, she continues her quest to enlighten the public and medical practitioners at every opportunity. She organized a seminar in Hagerstown featuring Dr. Andrea Leonard-Segal and hopes to begin a TMS group in Hagerstown this fall.
Georgie Oldfield, MCSP
Georgie Oldfield is a Physiotherapist and the founder of the Stress Illness Recovery Practitioners Association, an organization in the UK educating and training practitioners about TMS. She also runs the Pain Relief Centre in Yorkshire, UK. Georgie came across the work of Dr. John Sarno after becoming increasingly unsettled with the physical explanation for pain. Her work with TMS began in early 2007 and she developed her own TMS Programme in the UK after visiting Dr. Sarno that same year. Due to the results she was observing with her patients, she began to focus more and more of her work in this area. She is passionate about developing this work and helping to raise the profile of this little known cause of pain. Georgie is the organizer of the 2015 conference “Chronic Pain: to suppress, manage, or cure?”. She is also the author of the TMS book Chronic Pain: Your Key to Recovery, published in 2014.
David Schechter, MD
David Schechter is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA. He gave presentations entitled "Outcome Evaluation of TMS for Back Pain" and "Addressing Barriers to the Acceptance of TMS: The Public and the Medical Profession" at the first TMS Conference.
Howard Schubiner, MD
Dr. Howard Schubiner is board-certified in pediatrics, adolescent medicine, and internal medicine. He was a full Professor at Wayne State University for 18 years and now works at Providence Hospital in Southfield, MI, where he directs the the Mind Body Medicine Program that he founded. This program uses cutting edge research and both meditative and cutting edge psychological techniques to treat individuals who suffer from TMS. His website is http://www.unlearnyourpain.com.
Eric Sherman, PsyD
Dr. Eric Sherman is a licensed psychologist practicing in New York City. He completed his clinical internship at The Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine of New York University Langone Medical Center and served on the staff of Rusk's Psychophysiological Pain Program. He has trained under John Sarno and Arlene Feinblatt, and worked with Sarno for over 25 years treating patients with TMS/PPD. Sherman also gave a presentation at the LA Mind-Body Conference entitled The Psychology of Mind-Body Disorders. Dr. Sherman also co-authored the TMS book Pathways to Pain Relief with Dr. Frances Sommer Anderson.
John Stracks, MD
Dr. Stracks is a fellow in integrative medicine at the University of Michigan. He first learned about TMS in 1998 after curing himself of significant hand pain and tingling while he was preparing to apply to medical school. Intrigued by the power of the mind to influence the body, he did research and studied this aspect of medicine during both medical school and residency. He currently runs groups for TMS patients in Ann Arbor, MI, and hopes to continue to expand knowledge of TMS while helping people in Michigan and around the country cure their chronic pain.
Peter Zafirides, MD
For the past 12 years, Dr. Zafirides has been treating patients with TMS, and he has developed his own treatment protocol. He has trained under TMS practitioners such as Dr. John Sarno and Dr. Howard Schubiner. He is also part of a TMS PR committee that is dedicated to raising TMS awareness among patients and practitioners. Dr. Zafirides is also an active participant in the TMS Working Group, which is a coalition of TMS practitioners who have organized two TMS conferences. In September 2010, Dr. Zafirides started a Ohio-based radio show called The Healthy Mind, which discusses the connection emotions have on the physical body.
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