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How Supportive Therapy Can Help You

October 13th, 2014 · No Comments

Welcome to the series Why You Should See a Pain Management Psychiatrist.

Can supportive therapy be helpful to you?  It helps people cope with a difficult situation through listening and support, problem-solving, and instilling hope. How does it help?

1. Telling your story

Chronic pain is often a life-changing situation. Research by Viederman and others has shown that telling your story to someone who listens, cares and responds is important. Exploring how this life-changing situation fits in with your life story is also beneficial. Life Narrative work has been done with patients with cancer and is very positive. Sometimes an outlet in addition to your family and friends is needed, so having a place to talk about and make sense of your experiences is necessary.

2. Ongoing adjustment

Adjusting to chronic pain is not a one-and-done task. It usually requires on-going adjustment, as your condition changes. As well, other things in your life change, and your pain will impact your life differently at different points. For example, when you have little kids, not being able to do some activities with them can be discouraging, and can require creativity to work around. In contrast, when your kids are older, they may require less physical interaction. But then, perhaps, the financial stress of not working may affect your family more. Having a place to work through these issues as they come up is important.

3. Family support

As you know, your pain affects not just you, but your family and friends too. Having your family get support during difficult times is useful, too. In my practice, I often see not just the person with pain, but a spouse or family, too. A good resource for families is: Surviving a Loved One’s Chronic Pain.


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