Chronic pain (depending on severity) is a consuming and overwhelming experience that can become an abyss into which individuals fall and lose hope. Psychodynamic articles and studies on treating chronic pain most often stress and confirm the efficacy of an interdisciplinary approach in which psychotherapy is seen as an important component. The goals of this seminar are three-fold: 1.) Highlight contemporary psychodynamic approaches to treating chronic pain. 2.) Study a number of other contemporary approaches to dealing with chronic pain and ways to integrate these into psychodynamic practice. 3.) Discuss how integrative approaches might apply to your own practice.
We now know that the brain processes physical and emotional pain in the same area(s). Emotional pain is equivalent to physical pain. Once pain becomes chronic, the nervous system has already formed self-reinforcing pain pathways in which emotional pain amplifies and perpetuates engrained pain circuits. Sadly, over time chronic pain becomes embedded in many aspects of our patients’ lives, but this also means their pain is amenable to psychological and life-style approaches to reducing or even eliminating it. Many of these rely on the principle of neuroplasticity – the now well-established reality that we can form new neural connections and pathways at any age. I, myself, have dealt with disabling chronic pain and have found my own pathway out. This is my inspiration for the course offering.
Four Fridays, beginning February 2018 (dates TBA); 3—4 pm