Chronic Pain/Illness and Therapy

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?  You are not alone.

Based on the fact that a high percentage of my clients seem to struggle with some issue of chronic pain or illness, I decided that this issue is significant for many individuals seeking help and decided that my practice required that I seek additional training in this area.  I applaud and greatly respect my clients who have taken the initiative in the face of great pain and discomfort with the hope of a better quality of life.  I learn so much from them as we work together.  Successful treatment for chronic pain and/or chronic illness is multi-disciplinary in its approach.  Research reveals that therapy with a trained professional is a smart choice for part of a multi-disciplinary treatment plan.

Research indicates that people with chronic pain have a greater likelihood to experience depression and anxiety.  People facing chronic pain and/or chronic illness wrestle with the accompanying issues of financial stress, changes in interpersonal relationships, increased physician appointments, and sometimes the undesirable side effects of their medication, which they often are frustrated they need to take in the first place.  These stressors have an exacerbating effect on the pain and illness themselves and it can become a frustrating and overwhelming cycle.

There is strong evidence that certain types of therapy are helpful in reducing the symptoms of depression and anxiety related to chronic pain and/or illness.  If clients are willing to be active participants in therapy, the benefits can be significant.

Books recommended:

Donogue, P.J. & Siegel, M.E.  (2000).  Sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.  New York: W & W Norton Company.

Fishman, S. & Berger, L.  (2001).  The War on Pain.  New York: Quill

See also:

Tacón, A. M., Caldera, Y. M., Ronaghan, C., (2004).  Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in Women With Breast Cancer. Families, Systems, & Health, 22, 193-203.

Hofmann, S. G., Sawyer, A. T., Witt, A. A., Oh, D. (2010).  The effect of mindfulness-based therapy on anxiety and depression: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78, 169-183.