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Your pain is real. Regardless of whether your condition is well-understood, whether it has a name, whether or not there is tissue or nerve damage present in your body, whether it's there every day or comes and goes, whether it's a 10/10 pain or a 3/10 pain--if you are in pain, you are in pain.

Living with chronic pain or a chronic illness can come with many burdens: the physical pain itself, but also the emotional suffering, the time and effort required to manage the condition (medical appointments, treatments, taking medications, monitoring symptoms, etc.), the relational toll it can take, the economic impact of being out of work and seeking treatment or relief, and the cognitive work of adapting to all of that. 

Therapy can be a place for you to share the impact of these burdens week to week. It can feel good to share--to have someone hold the thread of your pain journey with you without you having to do any caretaking in the relationship. One of the reasons this can be helpful is that, for many, living with chronic pain or a chronic illness (with or without pain) is very isolating and can leave them feeling generally misunderstood, or like they have to do a lot of explaining before someone "gets" what their life is like. A therapist can be another person to "get" it in your life. This is the relational, narrative and grief-work part of therapy for chronic pain or illness.

The other part is about empowering and resourcing you with tools and adjunctive treatments. These include cognitive-behavioral approaches, values exploration, problem-solving, assertive communication, expressive art-making, and sometimes trauma therapy.




 

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