Survey Response: Serena Sterling, Psy.D.

From The TMS Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

This survey was last updated in July 2021.

Degrees/Licenses Held:
PsyD, (Doctorate in Clinical Psychology)

Contact Information:

Number of years in practice helping people with TMS: 13

Number of clients you have seen who have had TMS: I did not keep track of this but I estimate that I've seen at least 1,000 over the years.

What is your association to the TMS community?
I have been unable to access the TMS wiki site for many years but I have consulted with a number of medical doctors such as Dave Clarke, David Schechter, David Hanscom. I've written my own book about TMS disorders, Pain: A Love Story. I've taken courses from the Psychophysiologic Disorders Association and was part of a pain group of various types of doctors treating TMS disorders in Seattle. It has since disbanded but has taken different forms. I regularly attend David Hanscom's monthly think tank which brings together doctors treating TMS from a wide variety of disciplines.

Have you ever suffered from TMS? If so, how did you recover? (optional)
I developed juvenile rheumatoid arthritis when I was 9. Although I still have it, I'm able to mitigate the symptoms and alleviate any discomfort when it arises using the tools I've used from TMS protocols as well as the advanced mind body stress reduction techniques I've also learned which pinpoint various emotions that are getting stuck in the body.

What insurance plans do you currently accept?
I don't accept insurance because as a coach, insurance doesn't cover my services.

Do you have a sliding scale of payment for people who are not covered by insurance? I have various treatment plans that range in price but not a sliding scale.

Are you able to conduct sessions over the phone and/or via internet video services (i.e. Skype or FaceTime)?
I only offer remote sessions via Zoom, and as a coach, I'm able to work with people throughout the world rather than only in the state in which I live.

What have you done to educate yourself about TMS, and what plans do you have for further education about TMS?
I've read many books on the subject. During my post doc, I was supervised by a Reichian psychologist who specializes in mind-body disorders and understands TMS. Since then, I've consulted with Dave Clarke, MD on tough cases. I've taken the courses offered through the psychophysiologic disorders association. I meet bi-monthly with various types of doctors, physical therapists, and psychotherapists who all understand and treat clients with TMS. I have many more books I plan on reading by authors specializing in TMS.

What mindbody books do you recommend to your patients? In particular do you recommend Dr. Sarno's books?
I recommend all of John Sarno's books especially The Divided Mind. I also highly recommend Dave Clarke's They Can't Find Anything Wrong, Gabor Mate's, When The Body Says 'No', Bessel Van Der Kolk's, The Body Keeps the Score, and my own book, Pain: A Love Story.

What sort of services do you provide?
Coaching, mind body stress reduction techniques, mindfulness. I use my background, training, and experience in clinical psychology to help conceptualize someone's issues but use more coaching interventions and energy psychology tools to identify and release the stuck emotions.

Please walk us through one or more examples of what happens during a session, and how that changes over the course of working with a client.
I establish rapport then ask about the client's symptoms. When they started, was there an injury, if so how long ago, what was the nature of the injury, did it fully heal, at what point did they feel it was bothering them. If there was no injury, what were the circumstances in their life before the symptom developed, what was out of the norm good or bad. I.e. Even if they moved in with a partner that can be exciting but can be stressful.

How did they process the issue that happened before the symptoms developed. What doctors or other types of practitioners did they see. Do they have any xrays or a diagnosis from a health professional. Or were all diagnostic tests normal but yet they aren't able to recover from an injury or has the doctor told there's nothing abnormal yet they still have pain. What intervention helped the most if at all, for how long.

Are they familiar with John Sarno, have they read his books or other books on the subject of TMS disorders. Have they had the experience of understanding how the concepts involved in TMS.

I then use the mind body and energy psychology techniques to identify and release the specific emotions associated with their symptoms and assist the client in finding an earlier event when something similar happened which wasn't fully processed. Follow up treatments would involve using the symptom as an entry point for further identifying other emotions in the present that are connected to issues they haven't fully processed and expressed to themselves and others and again tracing it back to an earlier time in their life when something similar happened.

As we uncover more and more stuck emotions, and I help the client learn why it became difficult to express certain emotions, the client is able to advocate for themselves and feel safer expressing themselves when before they would have felt uncomfortable doing so. As a result, they symptom improves and eventually dissipates completely.

As we are going to post your answers on the TMS Wiki, feel free to write some text to introduce yourself.
Serena Sterling is a mind-body coach who uses her education, training, and experience in clinical psychology to help her clients understand why they're thinking, feeling, and behaving in certain ways and combines that with coaching to keep people accountable to their goals. Using mind-body stress reduction techniques, including Neuro Emotional Technique and PSYCH-K in addition to her training in TMS, she can quickly help her clients identify and release the underlying emotional root issue causing physical or emotional pain. Serena is also the author of Pain: A Love Story, which explores her own story of developing juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at a young age due to repressing her emotions, how she alleviated her symptoms, and describes client cases of how she works with people to alleviate mind-body disorders. All sessions are done remotely.

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