Chronic Pain and Chronic Health Conditions
Chronic pain and chronic health conditions can be gently attended to in highly specialized psychotherapy. My work with you as you are dealing with pain (including chronic pain) does not imply that there is something wrong with you, only that we augment to other ways of treatment.
How Did I Get Here?
Since 11 years of specialized focus and treatment of clients with chronic pain and chronic health conditions, I have served clients with pelvic pain, autoimmune disorders, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and other chronic health conditions that lead to pain as a so called “syndrome state”. As part of my EMDR therapy training and continuing education as well as by collaborating with pelvic floor and pain experts, I have received specialized training and developed advanced skills to treat pain and health conditions in ways that produce very effective and sustaining results. In my training I have learned about how pain changes the brain and body in unfortunate ways, and the many contributing factors driving pain and health syndromes. Through this understanding, I assist clients to change how their body’s systems are functioning in the here and now, or in real time, to promote health and healing.
I’ve been trained in neuroscience based methods such as EMDR therapy for Chronic Pain, Attachment Focused EMDR therapy for Chronic Pain, and other evidence based strategies that disrupt the pain pathways. This is typically what medication is trying to achieve with limited outcomes but serious side effects. In my work with clients, clients learn simple strategies that gently help calm down the constantly firing in their nervous system.
Your Pain Is Real and Made In Your Brain- Current
When working with clients I reinforce that their pain is very real…and people do not make up pain! But, pain is complicated. It is one aspect of one body’s nervous system, and the nervous system is comprised of many physiological functions beyond the experience of pain. For effective pain relief, clients and l learn together to understand how their body’s nervous system is operating as a whole. In understanding this, more and more opportunities for relief become available. The same is true for chronic health conditions.
The Treatment: What You Can Expect
First, I invite you to complete my intake forms. I need to understand the your pain issues regarding the medical cause or causes, or what is called the pain generator. Is it a structural issue? Is it a nerve issue? Is it an inflammatory issue? Through this understanding I can develop a great deal of information about what can be done. With health conditions, I want to know family history to understand possible genetic predisposition.
Your Complex Life- Current and Past
Second, understanding the complex background/life history, or how the nervous system has developed over the lifetime. Why? Genes most often need experiences to become expressed. Healing occurs when we learn how conditions have developed. In addition, what is happening in the present that is maintaining the condition? Is there a stress response that has not yet been resolved?
Harnessing Your Nervous System
Third, we get to explore the physiology of pain is also vital as it relates to the mind-body connection and how pain works in the body. And with this information, I teach clients to manage and navigate his or her unique nervous system states in order to cope with pain and decrease the intensity in very real and quite effective ways. Most often clients are amazed with what their bodies are capable of in regards to non-medicine pain relief!
Attending to Anxiety, Depression, Sleeplessness, and Your Intestinal Health
Forth, it is also important to identify any coexisting conditions such as anxiety, depression, severe stress states, other trauma issues, and/or grief reactions. How has your life has changed? What are your losses you may have had in relation to your pain and/or health conditions? Co-existing conditions can increase pain states and health symptoms. Pain states and health symptoms, in turn, make coexisting conditions worse. This is physical, not psychological. I help you to understand this, and, I am honored to help resolve these coexisting conditions.
The mechanisms of stress and trauma reduction described above also applies to (medical and psychological) conditions involving chronic (sexual) pain. Clients with chronic and complex pelvic pain with whom I used the EMDR protocol noticed a decrease in pain plus a decrease in disturbance of other memories linked to the pelvic floor (e.g., family of origin trauma, trauma induced by medical providers/treatment). There is relief from chronic conditions!
Your Healing- A Family Affair
Fifth, chronic pain and chronic health conditions so often impact the family and relationships in so many ways. This be addressed to re-establish rewarding family roles and relationships. And, doing so is critical to recover from the pain and health conditions!