Dr. Jessica Leavell
Neuropsychologist, Lupus and Chronic Pain Thriver, Blogger
I have been a practicing pediatric neuropsychologist for over 15 years. Prior to my neuropsychological training I spent five years as a child and adult therapist. My approach has always been a holistic one, guided by ecological and biopsychosocial models to mental and physical wellness.
As a graduate student I developed an interest in mindfulness meditation, and I helped to create and research culturally-sensitive meditation interventions. During my neuropsychology training, I continued to study the mind-body connection through such organizations as the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine and the Center for Mind Body Medicine.
Then, fifteen years ago, my own personal journey began. Just as I became a mother, I developed multiple mysterious symptoms that became increasingly debilitating. I transformed from a professionally and physically active young adult to someone simply trying to make it through each day. I found myself on a long and arduous search for answers. After several years I was diagnosed with lupus in addition to significant degenerative disease in my spine. Slowly over the years my world narrowed in many ways I could never imagine.
I struggled with substantial daily pain that gradually spread to numerous areas of my body including neck, lower back, shoulders, multiple facial neuralgias, and swollen aching joints. Some of these symptoms could be directly connected to lupus while many others doctors struggled to understand.
When COVID-19 shut down the world I chose to use the time to focus on healing. I discovered mind-body therapy for chronic pain and decided to give it my full effort. I used the Curable App and eventually signed up for Curable groups. I also delved into Alan Gordan's Pain Reprocessing Therapy and Howard Schubiner's research. It was an incredible amount of work but it completely changed my life. My pain has reduced by about 90% and I have learned to love myself and embrace joy.
I then made the decision to revamp my career. Over the past year I have retrained in mind-body treatment for chronic pain and became a Certified Pain Reprocessing therapist. I am beyond excited to begin helping others find relief and reclaim their joy.