Pain can play tricks on our minds and cause a very negative mindset, bordering on hopeless. Pain has a way of derailing us from what we have planned. This week, I have already seen a few clients that are struggling with chronic pain conditions like IBS, rheumatoid arthritis, neck and back pain, and I am in awe of their ability to continue to advocate to get the support that they need to keep going. Pain has a way of altering the brain, and it’s important to remember not to judge to judge yourself and/or those in your life who are dealing with chronic pain. If you are a family member of someone who is managing chronic pain, try to remember a time in your life when you were in so much pain that you couldn’t think, make the right decisions, couldn’t eat, sleep, or manage your anger.
A big part of my work with couples where one is in pain is to help the other partner feel supported to voice their frustration at the pain, and not onto their partner. What a huge difference this work makes, when the partner who is not in pain, can voice in a healthy way, their feelings about their partners’ pain vs. bottling it up and then exploding. This helps to unify the couple together, around the pain, vs. the pain dividing them.
Another example of chronic pain is in regard to clients who are in the middle of, or have recently divorced, where they may carry emotional pain that has become trapped in their bodies. I help these clients get that pain out, inch by inch, by nurturing them back to health through our discussions, follow-up supportive texts, and small homework items that keep them thinking of the growth they want outside of our sessions.
Providing therapy to clients with chronic pain requires an office where the noise and/or light can be reduced to an extremely low level, along with a soft blanket, heat wrap, essential aromatherapy oils, or a cup of tea, which are all important to provide comfort and healing during the session.
I am very interested in how exposure to vibrant colors, calming dogs, and nature affect pain levels. I am also quite certain that Comedy Therapy (my term), is very useful with clients in certain amounts, there is nothing like seeing a client laugh, when they really hadn’t panned on doing it that day based on their pain level. Here is a link to an article that references comedy in a therapeutic way: https://psychcentral.com/lib/parallels-between-improv-comedy-and-therapy/
I work with couples and individual adults in my psychotherapy and coaching practice. My clients make progress! Find Your Strengths at http://www.kelleyhopkinsalvarez.com. If you are curious about whether therapy could be useful in managing better and/or lowering your pain, text 203-948-0938 or email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your challenges.
Thank you so much for reading my blog!
Kelley Hopkins-Alvarez, Licensed Professional Counselor, NCC, BCC
Address: 100B Danbury Road, Suite 201D, Ridgefield, CT 06877 (behind Union Savings Bank)