Survey Response: Amber Murphy, MSW
This survey was last updated in June 2016.
Master of Social Work
Bachelor’s in Psychology
Associate Social Worker #62268
Number of years in practice helping people with TMS: 3
Number of clients you have seen who have had TMS: 100+
What is your association to the TMS community?
I am a member of the TMS community as well as a practitioner. I work at the Pain Psychology Center where 90% of my patients have TMS.
Have you ever suffered from TMS? If so, how did you recover? (optional).
I have had 18 different TMS symptoms across my lifespan, prior to learning about TMS. In my last bout of TMS the doctors told me I would have chronic pain for the rest of my life. They stated that I would end up in a wheelchair and never walk again. Fast forward to the present in which I run, walk and hike as much as I like with zero pain and not a wheelchair in sight as a result of doing the TMS work.
What insurance plans do you currently accept?
We do not accept insurance but do provide monthly super bill to in state clients to seek reimbursement from their insurance company.
Do you have a sliding scale of payment for people who are not covered by insurance? Yes
Are you able to conduct sessions over the phone and/or via internet video services (i.e. Skype or FaceTime)?
I provide psychogenic pain coaching to clients around the world via Skype, Facetime or Google Hangouts.
What have you done to educate yourself about TMS, and what plans do you have for further education about TMS?
The largest portion of my education came through experiencing and recovering from TMS. I have supplemented this education through trainings by Alan Gordon, LCSW (Director of the Pain Psychology Center), receiving mentorship and guidance from Dr. Schubiner and Dr. Schechter and I have read all of the TMS books and research. I continue to seek additional training in modalities that compliment the TMS recovery process such as Intensive Short Term Dynamic Therapy and Emotion Focused Therapy.
What mindbody books do you recommend to your patients? In particular do you recommend Dr. Sarno's books?
I recommend Dr. Sarno’s books as well as Unlearn Your Pain by Dr. Schubiner.
As we are going to post your answers on the TMS Wiki, feel free to write some text to introduce yourself:
Amber Murphy uses an integrative approach to treat chronic pain sufferers. She integrates psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral and trauma informed approaches while incorporating the practice of mindfulness to assist patients in overcoming their pain. Having recovered from psychogenic pain herself, Amber has unique insight into the mind-body connection and understands the fear and frustration that often accompanies it.
What is your general psychotherapeutic treatment approach?
We use a two-pronged approach when working to eliminate symptoms. First, we work to toward changing one's relationship with the pain. Reframing the meaning of the symptoms often serves to break the pain cycle. Next, we address what’s going on beneath the surface. Often the abusive or neglectful way that we treat ourselves, consciously and unconsciously, can lead to the development of symptoms.
People often have the tendency to criticize, scare, or put pressure on themselves. Learning to recognize, care about, and change the way that you treat yourself can help alleviate symptoms.
How does your approach to treating TMS differ from your general psychotherapeutic treatment approach?
Our approach is similar to general psychotherapeutic treatment in that we provide a safe and nurturing environment for our patients. It differs from the general approach in that our primary focus and goal is to help you eliminate or drastically reduce your symptoms rather than just manage them.
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