Survey Response: Clark Grove, PhD

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This survey was last updated in June 2011.

Degrees/Licenses Held:
M.A. Humanistic Psychology, Sonoma State University (Mind/Body focus)
PhD Clinical Psychology, California Institute of Integral Studies
Licensed Psychologist in California

License number: PSY 13469

Contact Information:
Mail: 1902 Webster St. San Francisco, Ca 94115
Telephone: 415.923.6760

Locations where you practice: San Francisco, Kentfield (Marin County) California

TMS Wiki username (if applicable): clarkgrove

Number of years in practice: 19

Number of years in practice with patients who have TMS: 10

Number of patients you have seen who have had TMS: About 60

Do you work with other professionals when helping TMS patients? If so, please describe.
I receive most of my referrals from Dr. Parvez Fatteh in the San Francisco Bay Area, who is a Sarno adherent and is board certified in physical medicine & rehabilitation, with a sub-specialty (Board Certified) in pain medicine.

How did you first become interested in TMS?
About 10 years ago I was working with a client who had a number of issues, with the most compelling one severe tendon/muscle pain in his arms. He was diagnosed with repetitive motion injury and was so incapacitated that he couldn't even pick up his two year old daughter. This client introduced me to Sarno's work as he worked through his pain. The philosophy of Sarno's beliefs were familiar to me because of my background in mind/body psychologies in my Master's program at Sonoma State university.

Approximately 8 years ago I had a close family member go through excruciating back pain. She consulted with over 10 health practitioners (mainstream and alternative) and did not find any diminution of the pain until she read "The Mind Body Prescription". She was pain free in about 2 months.

Have you ever suffered from TMS?
Yes. Latest bout was in the middle of a 5 mile run when my calf cramped up. I ran the last 2 or so miles chanting (to myself so as to not frighten others on the trail) "It's just anger" and made it back with very little pain. The first bout, I believe, was at 10 years old. My family was going through a crisis. I developed abdominal pain (symptoms consistent with appendicitis) and had an appendectomy. The doctor said my appendix was in perfect condition (but took it out anyway because he was already there).

What insurance plans do you currently accept? Aetna, Blue Shield, Managed Health Network.

Do you have a sliding scale of payment for people who are not covered by insurance? Yes, based on their ability to pay.

What steps should TMS clients take before contacting you?
I suggest a medical exam to determine the etiology of the pain. I also suggest reading "The Mind Body Prescription", and more recently "The Divided Mind". I don't see it as my job, nor place, to determine if pain is psychosomatic. I find it so much easier (with better results) to work with TMS when it is diagnosed and believed in.

Have you published any materials related to TMS? No.

Which mind-body medicine books do you find yourself recommending most frequently to patients? In particular, do you feel comfortable referring people to Dr. Sarno's books? Mind body Prescription and Divided Mind.

Additional Questions for Therapists

What have you done to educate yourself about TMS, and what plans do you have for further education about TMS? I have read all of Sarno's books. I attended the Mind/Body Conference at UCLA in 2010.

Are you able to conduct therapy sessions over the phone? If so, which states are you licensed to practice in?
If I have a developed relationship with a client then I consider phone consultations. Because the information sitting in the room with a client is so important, for me too much is lost in doing phone sessions without a developed relationship. Tone of voice, body posture, body movements, etc are all so important when addressing defenses such as repression and suppression.

As we are going to post your answers on the TMS Wiki, feel free to write some text to introduce yourself:
I find working with TMS issues not very different from other issues I routinely work with. Anxiety, depression, anger, relationship issues all rise from a place similar to Sarno's perception of the cause of physical pain: repression.

We all defend ourselves. We couldn't survive without the ability to protect ourselves. But when our defenses become automatic and anachronistic, we are no longer protecting, but limiting and damaging ourselves.

Hopefully psychotherapy offers an opportunity to challenge our fears and negative beliefs about ourselves and the world, so that we can safely lower our defenses and enjoy the inherent connection there is in all our relationships.

DISCLAIMER: The TMS Wiki is for informational and support purposes only and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. See Full Disclaimer.