The Importance of Working With Clients With Chronic Illness

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This is a very interesting article about a topic that I find so important. What kind of training, especially for non-clinical social workers, is available?

Jane Segelken more than 4 years ago

Reply to Jane

I would look for conferences and workshops on topics related to medical social work and the specific populations you are interested in. There are associations for social work in specialized areas such as oncology, nephrology, pediatrics, and so forth. I would find their websites and look for upcoming conferences and trainings. more than 4 years ago

Thank you!

Thanks for your kind words, everyone. Since writing this article a couple years ago, I started a new nonprofit called the Center for Chronic Illness. This new organization offers professionally-led support groups and educational programs to those living with ongoing health challenges. Right now, we are based solely in Seattle but hope to expand in the longer term to serve other locations. Our website is Please contact us with any questions!

Allison Fine more than 5 years ago

Such important work!

I work with clients with chronic health issues, including chronic pain issues. Many don't understand why their physician is referring them to me. Many have a history of trauma. I'm surprised that there aren't more clinicians focusing on this population. So important!

Yolanda more than 6 years ago

Thanks for your work

Hi Alison thanks for your work in this feild. I am 33 and living with chronic illness, fibromyalgia, arthritis and the subsequent chronic pain and depressive disorders that come with them. In Australia there is very little in the way of funding and support for people experiencing chronic pain. I am studying social work to help others like myself. It us very encouraging to know that there are other professionals out there advocating for those experiencing chronic illness. Thanks for your work.

Sarah Sherwood more than 6 years ago

I agree....

I am a LMSW and have been practicing social work for 17 years. I have always worked with families and children. It wasn't until three years ago that I fell into a job working with HIV clients that are newly diagnosed. I love it. I think working with individuals with chronic illness needs to be promoted more within the academic setting. It is very rewarding and needed work!!

kristin thompson more than 7 years ago


So great that you wrote this. I am a social worker with a chronic illness and who also works with people with lupus (not the illness I have). I am glad that you are asking other social workers to step in, and also particularly appreciate that you are advocating for free or low cost services. Would love to be in touch.

Jessica more than 7 years ago

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