After Diagnosis, a Helpful Step

It’s a natural human tendency to feel overwhelmed and scared when you are suddenly given a medical diagnosis that you can’t change. A diagnosis of a brain disease affects not only those with the illness but their family and friends, too.

patient-careCounselors at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health are specially trained in the management of both the physical and emotional strains of disease; specifically, of brain disorders. Individual, couples and family counseling can address common concerns such as sadness or depression, relationship challenges, adjustment to the diagnosis, caregiving needs, anxiety about the future, and grief and loss. Counseling can also help participants improve communication, think honestly about the future, and learn practical and meaningful self-care skills.

The Value of a Sympathetic Ear

Those who have been diagnosed and are living with a life-limiting illness and their family members testify to the role that counseling has played in their ability to cope. 

As Martie Bolsinger was digesting her diagnosis of dementia, she and husband, Randy, were urged to meet with a therapist at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health to learn how to manage related anxiety and the overall impact of the disease upon their lives. Mr. Bolsinger says the counseling sessions helped dispel some myths, but did not sugarcoat anything:  “We were encouraged to manage the disease, learn more about the disease and to participate in research to try and find a solution to the disease.” 

As the primary caregiver for his wife, Mr. Bolsinger was also encouraged to attend the Alzheimer’s disease support group. Despite some initial reticence, he has made the group a weekly habit and has found it useful, providing tools to help him handle challenging situations that have arisen as the disease has progressed over the past five years.  

Donors Make It Happen

Generous donors enable the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health to offer free counseling to patients and their family members. For more information on counseling, contact Joanne Fairchild, LCSW, at 702.483.6006 or

To learn how you can support the important work of our therapists, call 702.263.9797 or email