Illness and Suffering are not the Same Thing 






If you had a choice between eating tacos for the rest of your life

...or living with an illness every day, would you choose hard or soft tacos? Yeah, getting a medical condition is like getting dealt a big pile of you-know-what. Of course, you'd like to wake up tomorrow morning and not feel like crap. But the worst part is not feeling any control over your life. One minute you're doing okay. Then *boom* another day in bed, a surprise surgery, or a big health setback.



Your relationships are changing (or failing). It's hard to go to work. That romantic trip to Italy is out of the question. You can't remember the last time you went to the gym. Your aches and pains have their own aches and pains. The only fun part about being sick is the endless Hallmark movie marathons (until you realize they’re all the same).



Every coping skill you ever learned is as worthless as a soup sandwich. You blame yourself. You blame your parents for feeding you hot dogs with nitrates in them (that's why you got sick right?). You've already reached your maximum number of depressing "I'm-still-sick" Facebook posts and you're afraid people will start unfriending you.



Some days you fight really hard with your illness and you think you're winning. And then you lose miserably and wonder why you fought so hard. Other days you say SCREW IT! and throw your hands in the air. Then you worry illness will take over your life. You'd like to find a happy balance, where you can handle everything illness throws at you.

Emily Whitish LMHC Psychotherapy Gig Harbor, WA

hello, I’m Emily Whitish

I have a chronic illness and I’m a psychotherapist to people like you - people living with life-disrupting and stressful medical conditions. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to give in to your illness and you don’t have to fight with it either.




With counseling, I'll help you learn practical tools you can use in your daily life to:

  • Live more skillfully and find joy despite the profound changes in your life and your body

  • Manage physical and emotional symptoms - even the really tough ones

  • Gain presence of mind, more fulfilling relationships, and the freedom to choose a better life for yourself

  • Find meaning in your illness so you don't have to fight with it all the time

  • Begin to love the body you're in even though you might feel like it's betrayed you

  • Do the things that matter to you even when it's hard

I’m going to help you cope with your illness. But more importantly, I’m going to help you create a rich and meaningful life, even if pain, illness, and stress are coming along for the ride.

blue background.jpg


People with Health Challenges

Either you're newly diagnosed or you've been living with physical health challenges for a long time. You've been struggling to cope with symptoms and all the changes that illness has brought into your life. You'd like to find a better way to live with your illness. I'm here to help.

Caregivers and Care Partners

You're a caregiver, family, or friend to someone living with health challenges. You want to be supportive but sometimes you don't know how. You have a lot of stress and you want to focus on your health and well-being too. Let's do something about that.

Health Care Providers

You are a doctor, nurse, therapist, or other healthcare provider. You work hard everyday serving people who are dealing with health challenges. You want to provide quality care to your patients but sometimes you feel tired and burned out. I'm glad you made it here today.

Health Seekers

You want to reach optimal health but you're not sure how. You have tried many things but nothing seems to stick. You'd like to get support from someone who knows the psychology of health behavior and can help you create lasting changes. You've come to the right place.

Online Therapy Available


Life is seriously challenging when you’re sick. You know you’d benefit from the support of a therapist, but your illness makes it nearly impossible to add another medical appointment to your week. Or maybe you’re too sick to leave the house. Or perhaps my office is too far away.

This is why I offer my therapy services online. With online/video therapy, you and I can work together while you’re at home, at your office, at the hospital, or anywhere. With this kind of flexibility, you’re less likely to miss appointments, so you can still get the support you need.



blue background.jpg

let’s do this.

Ready to get started? Just click the Get Started button to fill out my online contact form. I’ll give you call within a day or two. I’ll ask a few questions and answer all of yours. Then we will schedule your first appointment.