This service focuses on helping people cope with illness and its associated psychological and social problems.
Gary S. Grubb has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 2016. He holds a Masters in Social Work degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before becoming a social worker, Dr. Grubb earned an MD from Case Western Reserve University and a Masters of Public Health degree from the University of Minnesota. He is board-certified in Preventive Medicine and has been licensed in North Carolina since 1987. In his medical career he worked with the CDC, non-profit organizations, and corporations in epidemiology and clinical trials. He worked for three years counseling indigent clients in the Smithfield office of Carolina Outreach before starting his practice. Dr. Grubb had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma successfully treated in 2007 and has written about the patient's experience that was not what he was taught in medical school.
Dr. Grubb's Curriculum Vitae can be downloaded from below (Client Forms).
I became a counselor to help people through medical problems like the cancer I had because I observed many patients who needed compassionate guidance and emotional support. I have specialized my training, research and connections to best meet the needs of clients coping with medical problems. While the average counselor lists about 15 interests, I specialize in one to provide the best service I can. I have empathy for the depression, anxiety, and grief that often come with medical problems. I use several proven counseling techniques (like CBT, ACT, mindfulness and clinical hypnosis) to find those that work best for clients.
. In addition to the psychotherapy approaches, one of my main goals is to give clients more skills and tools to treat their mental health problems on their own. To do that, I research several types of resources (like local help, experts, books and internet sites) that would help. I also help clients anticipate and counter problems related to their illness (like stigma and relationship effects) that are likely to lead to emotional discomfort.
With any of the above approaches, good rapport between a client and the counselor is often the key to successful treatment. I find out how a client dealt with problems before and help them build on their strengths. I always collaborate with a client in setting an agenda for each session and genuinely value the clients’ feedback to improve their future sessions.
I accommodate clients who are house-bound or ill by having sessions in their homes but I am mindful to keep sessions from being tiring or stressful. These visits can present some difficulties for a successful therapeutic relationship. Therefore, I may ask for certain preparations to maintain privacy and avoid interruptions with these in-home sessions.
Triangle Area institutional referral sources include: Cornucopia Cancer Support Center, Duke Hospital, Duke Raleigh Hospital, Cary Medical Group, Waverly Oncology & Hematology, Wake Med Rehabilitation Hospital, ALS Society
UNC referrals include: UNC Cancer Center, Center for Transplantation, Depts. of Nephrology, Palliative Care
Cancer has its unique aspects but many cancers are becoming more like other chronic diseases. Clients with other chronic diseases I have treated included cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, neuro-muscular diseases, auto-immune disorders, kidney disease, chronic pain.
I research the client's disease to understand its psycho-social effects .
“I reached out to Gary after my cancer diagnosis for support. His first hand experience with cancer and training made him a good fit for me.”
Need a treat psychotherapist?
I highly recommend Gary Grubb to help people dealing with chronic illnesses. Here is why.
I have a progressive muscle condition that I thought I could beat with exercise. To help, Gary met me where I was in my thinking. He didn’t try to "make a career" out of me He quickly grasped what my thinking was and gave me a gentle nudge to come up with different perspectives His perspective helped me tremendously. My goal was to not to need Gary long term but it is s very reassuring to know he is only a call away. Thank you Gary!
Coping with chronic illness rarely occurs alone. Caregiving and social support from friends and family are crucial to the client's treatment. I meet with any of the client's supporters they desire to help them understand the psycho-social challenges, find ways to deal with the many stresses of caregiving, and aid communication with the client and their health providers.
The tools and techniques learned in the counseling sessions need to be practiced between sessions for the client to improve and in preparation to do self-therapy long after the sessions have ended. Clients practice relaxation, mindfulness, self-talk and behavioral changes between sessions at a rate and intensity they agree is doable and likely to succeed.
"I'm a caregiver for my husband with stage IV cancer and a mother of a young child. I was very anxious. Gary helped me to develop strategies to stay calm, build a support system, and adjust my thinking. He gave me tools to talk and react that has made me a more effective caregiver. His advice has been exceptionally helpful as we navigate this challenging time in our lives. "