Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to your top questions about lupus & my practice
Does what we talk about remain confidential?
Yes absolutely confidential and private in accordance with the ethics of the National Counselling and Psychotherapy Society of which I am a fully accredited member.
How do you see clients?
The majority of my sessions are run virtually via Facetime or Skype which means that clients are in the comfort and safety of their own homes anywhere in the world and do not have to travel. It is very suitable, I have found, if you are feeling unwell or under pressure. However, I do offer special in person sessions in Herefordshire, England which comprise a 1:1 therapy session followed by 1:1 mindfulness in nature training. Further information is available on request.
Is lupus a rare condition?
No over 5 million people are currently diagnosed with lupus worldwide. In fact it is more common than cystic fibrosis, leukemia, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis combined. Also, there are very high levels of misdiagnosis and belated diagnosis of lupus, so I believe that there are even more people awaiting successful diagnosis.
I don’t know whether my symptoms are lupus or not, can you help?
Yes, I can advise on the official lupus symptoms, including what you need for a diagnosis together with common secondary symptoms, diagnosis protocols and common mistakes. I also know unusual contraindications which happen for people with lupus in standard testing. I can also advise about leading specialists and centres of excellence in the UK and in the US.
I have just been diagnosed with lupus and I feel overwhelmed and bewildered. Can you help?
Yes, I totally understand because I was in the same position shortly after my diagnosis in 2012 which is why I am on a mission to ensure that no one else lacks information and the mental and emotional support and treatment that I desperately needed at the time.
Is there a cure for lupus?
Lupus is currently an incurable condition but you can reduce the severity and frequency of lupus symptoms and promote remission, which is where symptoms die down almost completely or can be managed by first line medication, through the correct medication, informed all round care and good management.
Does what I eat matter?
Yes indeed! People with lupus are often allergic to certain foods and drinks which can dramatically worsen symptoms whilst certain foods, drinks, vitamins and supplements can significantly help; which is why I run an 8 week course to train you step by step in everything you need to know about the optimal lupus diet.
I seem to have very sensitive skin. Can you help?
Yes lupus impacts all the organs of the body and your skin is your largest organ and I can advise on what to put on your skin, how to avoid allergens and reactions and even what to wear to maximise comfort and to avoid triggering rashes and flares.
I find myself severely disabled with lupus. Can you help?
Yes, I have been there in a wheelchair with lupus and I can advise you on aids and equipment for lupus disabilities. I can also treat you to help you recover your mental health despite very destructive lupus symptoms.
Do you just help with lupus?
No lupus is my speciality because I was diagnosed with the condition myself in 2012 so I am able to add first-hand experience which many of my clients find especially valuable but there are several conditions which often overlap with lupus such as Raynauds, Sjogrens, Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis, these are so called “co-morbid conditions”, which I have also researched for over 10 years.
How long does treatment take?
Each session is 50 minutes long. Support and information sheets are then sent after sessions by email. I run courses which comprise a weekly session and all support and information documents over 8 weeks to achieve comprehensive change.
Will you prescribe me medication?
No I do not prescribe medication. I work alongside doctors and consultants. I do know all the leading medications available for lupus, their common side effects and withdrawal procedures.
What do you think about alternative treatment for lupus?
I believe in an holistic approach to lupus using the best of orthodox medicine but also adding the benefits of alternative systems and can advise on the best tried and tested alternative therapies which can help lupus symptoms. I can also advise on which alternative therapies and exercise to avoid. My 8 week “Ultimate Anti-Inflammatory Lupus Diet” course also includes training on the best vitamins and herbal supplements for lupus but also the ones to avoid if you have lupus or are taking certain common lupus medications.
How do I know if this therapy is right for me?
Further information about the way I work is available in my book “How to Stay Sane in Pain – Clarity, Resilience and Calm with Lupus” by Karen Drennan-McEwan which is available in e-book, paperbook and hardback on Amazon. You can also email me and I offer a free 20 minute virtual conversation so you can check to see if you feel comfortable with me and discuss how we might work together to change your life.