I work with clients having been diagnosed or living with health related issues including Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, fibromyalgia, chronic pain and chronic fatigue. These conditions can be a lonely and isolating experience. If you have a health condition, pain may well be an ongoing part of your life.
We tend to think of pain in physical terms, but it’s more complex than that. Our perception of pain involves how we think and feel about it.
Pain can be a common part of living, for example with heart and circulatory conditions – from the chest pain of angina and limb pain of peripheral arterial disease, to the recovery period after surgery. It becomes ‘chronic’ when it lasts for longer than three months.
Those who have chronic pain can become anxious and distressed, not just because they are experiencing pain, but also because of worrying about the cause of pain, how long the pain will last and the negative impact it’s having on their everyday lives and social activities.
I also work with clients, preparing for or, in recovery following surgery due to cancer and heart surgery.
This can be an extremely frightening experience and to have a safe place to talk, without having to think about censoring yourself, can be extremely valuable.
Additionally, it is common to have concerns about medication use in the longer term for chronic pain and health conditions, and the complexity of living with the side effects.
Counselling and mindfulness can be used to help with long-term pain so that it is possible to get on with daily life. Self-compassion focussed mindfulness, when working with serious health related issues, can be very helpful.