Therapy for Chronic Pain
Chronic pain doesn’t just hurt physically.
If you’ve been struggling with chronic pain for months, years, or even decades, you know that it’s more than simply a physical problem. Pain impacts our entire lives—making it difficult to show up in relationships, our families, our work, and our leisure time.
By the time clients show up in our office, they’re usually exhausted not just from the pain itself, but from the weight of everything that comes along with it: Endless doctors appointments where they’ve felt misunderstood or dismissed. Important occasions missed with family and friends, and the hurt and disappointment that results. Lost career opportunities and work relationships frayed. The constant need to advocate for oneself in systems that are ill-equipped or hostile towards people with a pain-related disability.
Mental healthcare is an essential part of your holistic chronic pain treatment plan.
People with chronic pain are often told their pain isn’t real, or that they need to “power through”. What many people don’t realize is that stress, whether physical or emotional, literally changes our physiology. Your pain is very real. The fact that pain changes the body’s physiology is actually good news, because that means we can also change it by learning to rewire the nervous system and retrain the brain.
Given the pervasive impact that chronic pain has on our lives, it’s no surprise that it impacts our mental health as well. Chronic pain sufferers are up to four times more likely than people who are pain free to experience anxiety and depression. They’re also more likely to struggle with substance use problems, insomnia, and a generally reduced overall quality of life.
Pain demands our immediate attention, but in the process of figuring out how to treat our physical pain more effectively, we often end up putting our mental health—and many of our other priorities—on the back burner. That works well when you’re experiencing acute pain! But when the pain becomes chronic, neglecting our mental health takes an increasing toll over time. Unfortunately, it’s a trade off that doesn’t help our physical health either, as our psychological pain amplifies our physical symptoms too. We find ourselves stuck in a feedback loop of escalating pain and struggle.
Working with a therapist who specializes in chronic pain can help you:
- Learn skills to navigate pain episodes more effectively
- Reduce anxiety and manage stress
- Develop a better relationship with your body
- Improve sleep and reduce insomnia
- Rebuild relationships that have been impacted by pain
- Function better in your personal and professional lives
- Reconnect with the things that make your life feel meaningful and worthwhile, whether pain is an ongoing part of your life, or just part of this chapter
At Stella Nova, we use evidence based approaches to treating chronic pain and its impact on our mental health and well-being. If you’re struggling with chronic pain and ready to make a change, we invite you to learn more by scheduling a consultation today.