Do You Suffer With Persistent Chronic Pain Or Illness?
Do you or your loved one struggle with daily life as a result of chronic pain? Are you regularly unable to attend work or social activities due to pain? Perhaps you feel frustrated that nobody understands the extent of your condition, and maybe you have difficulty thinking about anything outside the experience of being in pain. It may be that you worry that your doctor is missing something, or you wish that your pain treatment plan could be more effective. Perhaps you feel hopeless and helpless with respect to your or your loved one’s pain, unable to alleviate chronic pain symptoms or even identify its cause. Are you or your spouse dependent on pain medication, or unwilling to take medication due to unwelcome side effects or fear of addiction? Do you worry that chronic pain will continue to take over and limit your or your family member’s life?
It might be that you have worked with many doctors, but are experiencing little or no improvement. Adding a pain management therapist can help. You may be feeling lonely, misunderstood and/or vulnerable as a result of the mental, emotional and physical distress caused by being in constant pain. Your condition may be negatively impacting your relationships with loved ones and/or prevent you from establishing new relationships. You may experience extreme fluctuations in your mood or struggle with depression, anxiety or anger. Perhaps you often find yourself feeling stressed due to an impending event, unsure of how you will cope in a public setting. Or, you might be afraid to commit to activities ahead of time, worried that your pain will prevent you from attending and/or enjoying socializing. It may be that you worry about letting friends or family members down and, as a result, find yourself withdrawing and isolating yourself. Do you wish there was a way to successfully manage your chronic pain so that you can return to activities you once enjoyed and lead a happy, successful life?
Chronic Pain Affects People Of All Ages, Genders And Walks Of Life
Chronic pain can be an extremely frustrating, often invisible condition. And while you might feel very isolated in your experience, you are far from alone. More than 40 million Americans suffer from chronic pain every year, according to the National Institutes of Health. Chronic pain is so common that almost everyone will experience it at some point in his or her life. Stress caused by chronic pain can also increase blood pressure and negatively impact overall health, including increasing the risk of heart disease. In addition, people suffering with chronic pain tend to have tenser muscles and move around less often, both which can increase pain and negatively impact energy, appetite and lifestyle choices. People suffering with chronic pain are at higher risk for anxiety, depression and social struggles. Typically, in our society, we aren’t taught non-traditional ways to deal with chronic pain. However, as stress, anxiety and depression can often further amplify the experience of pain and act as roadblocks on your recovery journey, more and more people are learning about the benefits of mindfulness techniques in treating pain.
One of the reasons chronic pain is such a unique and complex medical condition is that we cannot see and/or measure pain clearly. Whether it is associated with a chronic illness, injury, surgery or an unknown cause, there is no blood test to measure the level of pain someone is experiencing. Therefore, we have to work purely from a person’s perception and experience of pain in order to help manage and decrease his or her pain. By reducing the experience of pain, you can enhance your functioning and quality of life significantly. With the help of an experienced pain management therapist, you can cultivate hope and increase confidence in your ability to cope with chronic pain.
Chronic Pain Counseling Can Provide You With Support, Pain Management Skills And A New Path Forward
Perhaps surprisingly, responding and adapting to chronic pain in the same way you would respond to acute pain can actually increase pain symptoms. Therefore, when pain becomes chronic, it is essential to respond to it carefully. Chronic pain therapy can help you lessen the impact of pain in disrupting your daily life. As a therapist specializing in chronic pain management with years of experience treating chronic pain, I can teach you tools that can change your perception and experience of pain. Using mindfulness, cognitive behavioral and biofeedback techniques, you can successfully reduce the volume and intensity of pain and, in some cases, completely turn it off. No matter your diagnosis, pain can be reduced or diminished significantly. You can learn to function without pain being the block that keeps you from doing the things you want. And, many people with whom I have worked have found that their pain conditions resolve entirely over time.
This said, it’s important to note that the goal of chronic pain counseling is to enable you to effectively manage pain, rather than trying to eliminate it entirely. In other words, through chronic pain therapy, you will learn to control your symptoms of chronic pain instead of letting the pain control you. With your permission, I will collaborate with your physician, pain specialists and other medical providers involved in your chronic pain treatment. Choosing to see a therapist for chronic pain is very brave step, and there is incredible hope for improvement through applying skills learned in pain management therapy sessions.
In the comfortable, private environment of my office, you can learn techniques to distract from or change your perception of pain. These methods include breathing techniques, muscle relaxation, guided imagery, mindfulness techniques and self-hypnosis. You can also learn how to manage stress and anxiety, which can exacerbate existing pain conditions. Using cognitive behavioral strategies and problem-solving techniques, you can learn to manage even the most challenging days and resume normal daily functioning, including attending work, social engagements and family activities. I’ll focus on helping you reestablish relationships or form new ones, overcome intimacy issues, increase self-esteem and overcome fears. Through feeling empowered and hopeful, you can begin to take control of your pain, overcome challenges and roadblocks and live a healthy, happy life.
Common chronic pain conditions that I have expertise working with…
- Amplified Pain Syndrome
- Headaches & migraines
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
- Back pain
- Shoulder pain
- Pain from orthopedic injury and/or surgery
- Abdominal pain
- Sports injuries
- Joint pain
- Chest pain
- Sickle cell
- Nerve (neuropathic pain)
•Cancer (pain from cancer, treatments and consequences of treatments)
- Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Conversion Disorder
- Generalized anxiety related to a medical condition
- Procedure pain (needles and procedures don’t have to hurt!)
- Pre-surgery anxiety and pain management techniques
You still may have questions and concerns about chronic pain counseling…
I’m afraid you’re going to think the pain is all in my head and blame me for it.
Pain is a very real and often upsetting experience. I don’t think your pain is imaginary and will never treat it as such. If you are feeling blame or shame in relation to your pain experience, I can help you resolve feelings of shame and empower yourself to gain more flexibility in your daily lifestyle. As a therapist with extensive pain management experience, I understand what you’re going through. I strongly believe in the mind-body connection, and I’ll help you learn to use your mind to help control and diminish your pain. Just as medication and physical therapy can help treat pain, so, too, can using mindfulness techniques and other complimentary stress-reducing strategies.
How can therapy possibly help with my pain?
Therapy provides you with a confidential space for you to share your entire chronic pain experience, with the intention of using the power of your mind to reduce your experience of chronic pain and/or chronic illness. With all chronic pain conditions and/or illnesses, there is always a psychological component. Specifically targeted mindfulness and cognitive behavioral techniques can alleviate some or all of your pain, as well as help with emotional issues you may be experiencing because of your pain. With me, you’ll learn how to cope with and manage your pain so that you can return to leading a fulfilling, happy life. Additionally, with your permission, I’ll collaborate with your medical team to figure out the most effective strategies to combat your chronic pain. And, while we will discuss strategies to cope with pain in the future, a lot of the focus in our sessions will be on helping you feel better now.
How can I help my family and/or friends understand my experience of chronic pain?
It can be difficult for loved ones to truly understand what you’re going through, especially if your symptoms of pain are difficult to diagnose. To ensure that everybody is on the same page regarding your treatment program and prognosis, it can be helpful to bring a partner or close friend/family member into therapy sessions with you.
Learn To Manage Adult Chronic Pain
If you’re ready to begin managing chronic pain, I can help. Call 972-489-2658 today for a free 15-minute phone consultation. We can also set up an initial meeting where you can relax in a comfortable environment and better understand the benefits of working with a pain management therapist.