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Can Counselling Help with Chronic Pain?

Can counselling help chronic pain? Yes, it can! Read on to find out how our mental health team can support you and help you live a full life.

October 13, 2021

For some people with chronic pain, the thought of reaching out for mental health support can feel defeating. Many people who live with chronic pain are already made to feel as though their experience is not real or that it's "all in their head,” and seeking out counselling might seem like it gives credibility to those statements.

However, as much we try (and historically, we’ve tried a lot!), we cannot separate the mind and the physical body. What affects your body, affects your mind and what affects your mind, affects your body. Research shows that the brain processes physical and emotional pain in the same places, making it very clear that our mind and bodies work together as one. In fact, most chronic pain does not show up physically on an MRI or an X-ray, but this does not make your pain less real or less painful. Despite all this, it can still be confusing and frustrating when pain shows up or lingers when an injury has otherwise healed or there was no injury at all.

My thesis research as part of my graduate degree has focused on experiences of meaning for individuals with chronic pain and my findings are hopeful: experiencing meaning in life with chronic pain is possible and it does not require the absence of pain. If this feels impossible to you or you're not sure how to get there, counselling can help. Our work in this area can include everything from work on pain beliefs, sleep hygiene, exploration of meaningful activities and relationships, and trauma processing (Mind-Body-Connection fact: People who have experienced trauma are more likely to experience chronic pain). It is my hope that your greatest takeaway from such work is that pain does not remove your worthiness to live a full and engaged life.

Our mental health team are licensed and registered professionals who are committed to helping you live your life to the fullest. Book your appointment for an in-person or online appointment today and begin your journey to wellness.

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Julia is in the process of finishing her MA in Counselling Psychology. She is passionate about working with individuals with chronic pain and in supporting others to connect with who they and who they want to be. Julia's areas of focus include: chronic pain, anxiety, depression, life transition, body image, and emotional regulation and expression. She has additional training in Existential Analysis and is a trained provider of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).