When we have pain we often go to our doctor who generally refers you on for further tests and investigations, such as scans. Sometimes the results come back which allow us to have a cause or diagnosis for our pain. Sometimes, despite many investigations and tests there is no apparent cause for our pain- the pain is unexplained by medicine. This is very distressing, as the pain is very real, and so too is its negative impact on your life and relationships.
Maybe you have been told that the pain is “all in your head” or “psychosomatic” and you are angry at your doctor or questioning if you are mentally ill. Let me reassure you, all pain is real and not all pain is generated from a disease, illness or injury. This is why medical tests and investigations are unable to find the cause of your pain! For instance, we can experience chronic pain during stress, severe emotional upsets, and after psychological trauma. It is still real pain. Our minds and bodies are connected and try to help us in tough situations. Maybe during that stressful time your mind and body believed it would be better for you to still function at work with pain than to suffer repeated flu? Even pain with a medical cause will have the mind/body connection influences. The mind/body connection can lead to us to experience more pain and distress as well as less.
How counselling helps
Please see the pain management and long-term health conditions pages as these are appropriate and relevant to you too. In my practice I make no differentiation between the causes of the pain- as what happens physiologically, emotionally, psychologically and behaviourally is very similar regardless of cause of pain. And how we would work would also follow the same program either individually or if appropriate in small groups.