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Counselling Help for Chronic Pain

What is chronic pain?

Chronic pain is a condition in which pain persists for an extended period of time. It is usually defined as pain lasting longer than 6 months or beyond the expected time for healing. Chronic pain is complex, and is associated with psychological responses such as stress, depression, fatigue, anxiety, helplessness, guilt and addiction. Once set in, chronic pain can be accompanied by sleep deprivation, social withdrawal and reduced social activities.

What are the symptoms of chronic pain?

  • Mild to severe pain that does not go away
  • Pain that may be described as shooting, burning, aching, or electrical
  • Feelings of discomfort, soreness, tightness, or stiffness
  • On-going fatigue
  • Poor sleep
  • Withdrawal from activity and increased need to rest
  • Weakened immune system
  • Changes in mood including hopelessness, fear, depression, irritability, anxiety, and stress
  • Disability
Diseases associated with chronic pain:

  • Arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis or Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Spinal disc erosion or back pain
Common causes of chronic pain:

  • Stress
  • Unhealed injury
  • Unrecognised trauma
  • Emotional strain
  • Low self-esteem
  • Identity issues

How can therapy and counselling help me with chronic pain?

At Fresh Mind therapy, we use a range of approaches for chronic pain, the primary ones being Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), relaxation techniques and hypnosis. CBT is a collaborative process and begins with helping you to understand your pain and importantly, the way you perceive it. Maladaptive beliefs, unrealistic expectations, fears and negative assumptions tend to compound physical discomfort. We therefore help you to challenge your pain perception and also to see yourself as an active agent in your own recovery. Working with a therapist will help you to:

  • Change the unhelpful thought and behaviour patterns aggravating your pain symptoms
  • Overcome and manage associative symptoms such as depression, anxiety or stress
  • Learn effective coping strategies such as relaxation techniques to manage chronic pain
  • Have regular support through your condition
  • Help you to develop a healthy and active lifestyle despite the pain

Fresh Mind therapy tools for chronic pain management

  • Education – Learning about your chronic pain and the factors that influence your perception of it
  • Goal-setting – Individual long-term and short-term goals for pain management
  • Skill-building – Improve your communication skills and learn ‘activity pacing’
  • Recognition and awareness – Identify and modify pain-related attributions, beliefs, fears and expectations
  • Relaxation – Learn techniques to reduce muscle tension, manage stress, distract from the pain and promote good sleep
  • Exercise – Encouraging regular physical conditioning and improved body mechanics to address poor endurance and fatigue
  • Maintenance – Build or strengthen your social support network, foresee problems and develop strategies for coping with setbacks

If chronic pain is giving you more than physical discomfort, get in touch with us now (link)