You can find healing from chronic pain. Chronic pain drains your energy and impacts many aspects of your life. Your struggles are complex and difficult to deal with and you want to work with someone who understands. You want to feel heard and understood. You’re looking for relief from the pain and have hope for less suffering. This is possible for you.
What is Chronic Pain?
Chronic Pain is essentially pain that continues to persist for 3 months or longer. It is pain that continues after the injury is healed or should be healed. However, it can also occur if you experienced nerve damage or other injuries that never fully heal.
There are 3 main types of pain:
- Nociceptive – Pain that comes from the receptors in your skin or other parts of your body. For example, pain that comes from cuts, bruises, broken bones, and muscle aches.
- Neuropathic – Pain that comes from damage to nerves in your body. For example, pain that comes from pinched nerves or nerve damage due to diabetes, autoimmune conditions, or trauma.
- Neuroplastic (also called Nociplastic pain, primary pain, or central sensitization) – Pain created in the brain due to misinterpretations. For example, pain that continues after an injury is healed, and unexplained pain.
You can have one of these types of pain or a mixed presentation of pain types. Although, most chronic pain has an aspect of neuroplastic pain. this can be either 100% neuroplastic or a mix of neuroplastic and either nociceptive or neuropathic pain.
Experiences and Struggles
Chronic Pain is more than just an experience of pain, you may also struggle with…
- Feeling on edge, guarded, overwhelmed, disconnected, trapped, isolated, helpless, and/or unsettled.
- Struggling with the pain controlling or limiting your life. This includes impacts to your relationships, work/school life, home life, social life and personal wellness.
- Struggling with uncomfortable emotions, fears, and/or worries.
- Grief over the relationships, activities, and other things, dreams, or ideals you lost due to the pain.
- Exhaustion from dealing with the pain and suffering on a daily basis in addition to the lack of sleep.
- Struggling with balancing your tasks of daily life, work and self-care. Feeling like a burden to others.
- Challenges in dealing with not being believed, stigma, ableism, and the medical system.
- Other conditions that can come with chronic pain like depression, anxiety, trauma, and/or substance use disorders.
It can be difficult to navigate the complex suffering and figure out how to navigate the effects it has on your life.
How Therapy Can Help with Your Chronic Pain
Some of the benefits of therapy for chronic pain include…
- Feeling heard and understood.
- Help to navigate the complexity of the condition and other supports that are available.
- Reducing your pain and other symptoms causing suffering.
- Understanding what may be driving your pain and what actions you can take to lower the intensity.
- Learning skills, techniques and strategies to help manage your pain.
- Gaining a better quality of life.
There is more understanding of what drives chronic pain and what can make it worse. Since we know what makes it worse, we also know what can make it better. Additionally, there are techniques that can be improve or resolve the experience of your pain. Recently, there has been increasing research that has shown how particular psychological techniques can improve chronic pain. In the case of neuroplastic pain, it has the potential to resolve it. There is hope for relief to those suffering from chronic pain.
Pain Reprocessing Therapy
Pain Reprocessing Therapy is a system of psychological techniques for use with neuroplastic pain. It is focused on breaking the fear-pain cycle by retraining the brain away from faulty misinterpretations fueled by fear and threat towards a more accurate view that is based on safety. In the Boulder Back Pain study, it was found that Pain Reprocessing Therapy improved the pain for 98% of patients and 66% of patients were pain-free or nearly pain-free at the end of treatment (2 sessions per week for 4 weeks) and that these outcomes were maintained one year later. You can read more about the study here: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/2784694
EMDR helps your brain and body to process memories, thoughts, and symptoms that are interfering with your natural healing process. Additionally, it has been shown in a number of studies to:
- ease chronic pain symptoms
- create clarity around the body sensations of embodied trauma
- reframe negative beliefs
- improve energy and mood
- help clients to create a different relationship with pain so it does not define them
Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
CBT for chronic pain is a therapeutic modality that focuses on a supportive counselling relationships between you and your therapist, where the counsellor provides education, skills and feedback and the patient has an openness to learning and practicing health-related changes. It has been found to reduce pain and suffering, improve your quality of life, as well as gaining skills you can use in other aspects of your live. Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) are connected to CBT with similar results for chronic pain.
I can meet you where you are in your chronic pain journey. Listening to your unique pain journey and your personal goals and priorities. We can work together on the next steps on your journey that focuses on improving your quality of life.
The Next Step
We will work together to decide the direction that works best for you to pursue the healing of your chronic pain. As a matter of fact, I am trained in multiple therapies that have been found to be beneficial for chronic pain. Therefore, I can able to work with you in a way that matches where you are and what your needs are in the healing process. Please invite me to take part in the next stage of your healing journey by booking a consultation or contacting me with any questions or concerns.
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