What is a Pain Coach?
Simply said, a pain coach is someone who helps you make sense of your experience with pain and helps you create a plan to work towards meaningful goals. These two things, having meaningful goals and having a plan, will help you make the changes in your life that you are currently struggling to make.
When we are working with persistent pain, we are working with ALL of you, you as a whole person. This includes mind, body and environment, as they operate as a unit. This requires us to look at the interconnectedness of thoughts, feelings, emotions, movement, activities, the world around you and how you relate to that world.
I'm here to help you end that vicious cycle of seeking pain treatment after pain treatment.
As a physiotherapist who has been working for many years within the medical system, trust me, I know what it feels like to feel stuck. I know what it feels like to know intuitively that these options aren't the best options and that there has to be a better way.
I've been stuck as a practitioner, trying to treat patients with persistent pain within the "insurance model" only to be met by disappointment time and time again, for myself and for my clients, who just don't get the time and resources they deserve.
Persistent pain recovery is not some quick fix, that can be changed within a set number of sessions. Rather, it is a complex process of unravelling and relearning how to orient your life in a way that is reflective of your values and what give your life meaning.
This is not just "pain treatment" this is life changing work. Work that will not only have you feeling better, but can give you the control back over your own life.
Hi! I'm Christine
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Pain Coaching is for those who are stuck in the vicious cycle of pain and are looking for a way out.
How can I help you?
Working from the psychological framework of acceptance & commitment therapy (learn more about ACT here), and I will be a mirror for you. Reflecting your experience back to you so you are able to see it more clearly. Sometimes we get stuck in the muck of it all and we need help to untangle all the things that might actually be keeping us stuck. Having a compassionate, non-judgemental witness is the role I will play in your story. That being said, this is not always an easy form of therapy. I will help you change and confront things that you may have been avoiding and I will be there to offer guidance in as much or as little as you need.
My skills are a mix between traditional physiotherapy, movement re-training skills,
psychologically-informed care and my own path of personal and conscious development. I can assure you that I practice what I preach, because these are life skills for everyone, a journey of learning how to life alongside our suffering. A very common human experience that is not necessary to avoid.
I use the framework of ACT to bridge the gap between the body and the mind, because in reality there is no "gap". Pain care will always be whole person care, because you cannot separate your body from you, the person. The person is your whole lived experience physically, emotionally, and socially.
Skills you will learn or improve
Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (also known as ACT), is a 3rd wave cognitive behavioural therapy. It's a psychological framework used by many types of therapists, including psychologists. It is an open-framework, meaning it is not exclusive to certain professions or people.
The main goal of ACT is to improve or build the skill of 'psychological flexibility'. Psychological flexibility is meant to help us become less rigid in our thinking patterns and behaviours. Becoming your flexible with your psychology can help you to see more options, create news patterns of thought and behaviours as well as increase contact with the present moment.
In ACT, psychological flexibility is a skill that is underpinned by 6 different processes (see below). These processes, in reality are not separate from one another. Depending on where you are more "stuck" we will work on one or more of these processes in our sessions together. This can be done in many ways including, but not limited to, movement and reflection, talking, written exercises, mindfulness & breathing exercises, and goal setting.
Honouring our experiences and resisting the temptation to avoid. This is a core process that we will be working with in our time together. We are whole already and everything you need to change your life is already within you.
We are not our thoughts. This is a truth that many of us, even the most conscious of us, will struggle with from time to time. Learning to detach from our thoughts are stories will open us space for us to create new stories. Stories that are potentially more accurate and based in self-compassion
This is harder bit - cultivating a practice to continue to act in lie with out values and in line with what we know is best for us. This is a difficult skill, but a corner stone of enacting change into your life. Accountability will help you immensely in this process.
You will learn how to train your attention that you can be more mindful of the present moment and what is happening all around you, internally as well as externally.
Context of Self
This is a bit more abstract at times, but here we will learn the process of consciousnesses awareness of our "noticing" self. There is always a part of use that can take a birds eye view. We will learn how to harness that viewpoint.
What are my values?
Arguably one of the more important part of the coaching process. No life is worth living without values. This is integral to the journey of learning to live beyond the control of pain. We will focus on what matters to you what makes your life meaningful.
Online coaching is for you if you are looking to improve the quality of your life and want to live beyond the control of your pain.
I host a free, online, group support session 1x/month. This is a 90 minutes of free support and a place to meet new people going through something similar.
This a place to feel supported, seen and uninterrupted. No advice given, just the power of listening and being vulnerable with other in a safe space.
This is also a great way to meet me and see how you feel about my energy and my approach. Although this is very different than coaching, it's still a great way to connect with me and others.