Chronic Pain is definitely not “all in your head” and almost always has a specific medical cause. It is also very difficult to control and many people who experience it do not enjoy the side effects of medications and other treatments available. Counseling can be used as an alternative treatment due to the fact that stress increases and exacerbates pain. Additionally, the pain itself often creates stress related to feeling pain which then causes more pain. Counseling for pain management is about freedom from this endless cycle. Clients learn to better understand the relationship between stress and pain allowing them to decrease both.
Angela specializes in helping people find peace in the midst of constant change and daily chaos. Counseling sessions are designed to help clients develop the ability to maintain an inner tranquility that is not easily affected by outside circumstances or pressures.
What to Expect
Counseling is provided in a relaxed atmosphere and focuses on helping clients feel comfortable right from the beginning. Angela enjoys getting to know her clients well and laughing together but also values focusing on goals and making each session a productive one. The first few sessions are spent getting to know one another and helping Angela get a thorough understanding of the problems as well as clarifying goals for treatment. Although some suggested techniques may start helping right away, typically counseling is a treatment that works more slowly but often has more lasting positive effects than other treatments.
All of Angela’s clients who are experiencing pain or other medical conditions will be asked to have a full medical work up if they have not already. Angela often collaborates with other medical care providers that clients have seen already. In your first session you will be asked to identify and give written consent for Angela to contact other medical providers who are also treating your condition in order to allow for a multi-disciplinary team approach.
Approach to Counseling:
Angela operates from a holistic perspective and concerns herself with the clients’ overall, long-term well-being. Her approach focuses on solutions with specific, attainable goals. Generally therapy is more short term and ends when the client’s presenting issue is resolved.
Angela uses Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction to help patients with stress related medical conditions. This cutting edge approach has been shown to be highly effective in reducing or eliminating chronic pain.Mindfulness is often defined as “awareness of present experience with acceptance.” This present-focused perspective is developed using specific techniques taught in sessions and practiced at home. Over time clients develop new strategies to work with pain, tension, and discomfort with a growing sense of freedom and the possibility of new options. Clients are often able to release unnecessary tension that has been held in the body, work with pain that can’t be released, and increase awareness and learning from emotions that may have become entangled with their uncomfortable physical sensations.
Additionally, Angela may also incorporate marriage and family and cognitive approaches to help clients examine how their thoughts about their condition and habits to manage it affect their experiences of pain and discomfort.
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** Mindfulness definition taken from The Mindfulness Solution: Everyday Practices for Everyday Problems by Ronald D. Siegel, PsyD