Survey Response: Serena Sterling, Psy.D.
This survey was last updated in March 2009.
Number of years in practice: 7
Number of years in practice with patients who have TMS: 5
Number of patients you have seen who have had TMS: 70
What is your association to the TMS community?
I have received consultation from Dr. Arlene Feinblatt, John Sarno's go-to psychologist and have had the pleasure of consulting with Dr. David Schechter (MD) another colleague of Dr. Sarno's who practices in LA. I have tailored my psychotherapeutic approaches in working with clients due to my training in TMS. In addition to using a psychodynamic orientation with patients, I include somatic work and work from the same understanding inherent in the principles of TMS symptoms.
Have you ever suffered from TMS?
Yes. I've had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis for 23 years and the back pain in particular is directly correlated to TMS symptoms. This pain as well as the pain I experience from arthritis have been alleviated from using a TMS approach.
Are you able to conduct therapy sessions over the phone? Yes.
What insurance plans do you currently accept? Currently I do not accept insurance.
Do you have a sliding scale of payment for people who are not covered by insurance? Yes.
What have you done to educate yourself about TMS, and what plans do you have for further education about TMS?
I continue to stay up on new information about TMS and continually find more info about this condition through working with patients and hearing their different experiences with the symptoms and with their work in overcoming their symptoms. I also regularly receive consultations from other experts in the field of TMS and participate in offering feedback with my colleagues who are also experienced and interested in continuing to help others overcome TMS.
As we are going to post your answers on the TMS Wiki, feel free to write some text to introduce yourself:
Dr. Sterling is passionate about helping people heal on many levels and lead productive and fulfilling lives. She received her master's and doctorate from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. Her dissertation on the role of alexithymia and anger in rheumatoid arthritis and undergraduate thesis at Reed College on illness as a means of self-definition in three literary works enabled her to understand how emotions affect physiology. She specializes in treating patients with chronic pain and functional syndromes and has had considerable success in relieving these often refractory conditions. Dr. Sterling understands that it is common for many types of stress to be undetected after the usual medical history, yet greatly impact the course of an illness. In working with patients, she educates them about stresses they may not have fully recognized. She follows this with management techniques that deepen the patient's understanding, empowering them to make lifestyle changes and express emotions in ways that alleviate symptoms.
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