A Pain Management Case Study
“In 1986, 1987 and 2006, I underwent three major surgical procedures which have ultimately damaged my body; Arachnoiditis, Neurogenic bladder/bowel, mechanical/neurological damage/pain and muscle weakness/degradation have all left me with impaired mobility and untreatable pain, of which there isn't a cure. For a long time, I've been left in the wilderness without any support. I didn't realise what happened at first as the symptoms weren't noticeable to a 13-year-old.

However, after 2006, the symptoms became completely disruptive to the current day through a series of oversights without accountability. This injustice, the fact you are wondering why you are suffering; ultimately it becomes a battle that you are trying to navigate through without anyone who understands. This is where you may reach despair or just end up hating the world as I have! It's hard to accept when things don't work as they should; your body is failing, yet your mind remembers the way you used to be and what you could do. That price is difficult to realise.

Effective management of pain, be it emotional or physical, is an exploratory journey as you need an experienced guide to be able to face your pain be it through acceptance or defiance. Kim has been instrumental in the analysis of the sources of pain and the 'overload' it puts not only on your body but on your mind; trying to keep your head together before the pain consumes your life. There isn't a miracle cure all for this sort of thing, it's individual to each and every person; this is where someone who understands from personal experience how pain affects a person, how it changes them; this is ultimately where Kim has provided insight into my own pain management issues, the complications of the damage to my body and the battle that is being waged on a daily basis.

Talking therapies and a Shamanic Journey are just two of the approaches I've explored with Kim, my issues are for life; it's reassuring to know there is someone who understands the aspects of pain and what they do to you. With someone outside of your world, they are able to offer ways of looking at your pain and how you are approaching the situation, giving new ideas and perspectives that you may not be aware of, it's this approach that makes Ebb and Flow life changing.” Anon

"When I first saw you, I was carrying a lot of baggage re my family and also an illness that I had been diagnosed with. After a few sessions I realised that things were not as bad as I first thought - I started contact with my brothers which was amazing. My son took me to see one of my brothers in Plymouth and we had long talks about many things. He now phones once a week, as do his siblings.

I was admitted to hospital in late December of last year and diagnosed with heart failure to go with kidney disease. My wife and sons and their partners were amazing. My brothers were phoning regularly to see how I was. Out of the blue, one of my brothers visited me in hospital - he had driven up from London. This would not have happened if I had not had some counselling with you.

I am in a much better place now - taking one day at a time and enjoying being back with the family that I thought was not bothered with me.

Thank you so much Kim and if I ever feel I need to talk to someone I will be in touch." Anon

"I remember the day I contacted Kim.  I had been desperately googling counsellors/therapists as I knew I had hit rock bottom.  I felt desperate for support, for something to help me, for something to change. There was something about Kim’s statement that felt friendly and approachable and when I rang and heard her voice I felt the same.  I was standing outside the school at the afternoon school run and she rang me back after I had left a voicemail.  The relief I felt at hearing that I could be seen quickly.  Kim explained that she was currently providing a ‘talk and walk’ service, at first I was a bit sceptical as my experience of therapy was in a room with two chairs.  However, it was one of my better decisions that I made.  On reflection it was perfect for me as I love walking, love being outdoors with nature and also had counselling alongside. So, win, win!

When I began my counselling with Kim, I felt utterly broken.  I had experienced years of upset and trauma following coming out of an emotionally abusive marriage with two children, then enduring being taken to court by ex-husband around contact with the children and intrusive and distressing involvement from social services.   My self-esteem as a person and my confidence in my ability to be a mother had been consistently and continuously eroded.   My overriding feelings on a day to day basis were guilt, shame and inadequacy.  A few years later I met someone else, it was a whirl wind relationship and I fell head over heels, I thought finally a fresh start! I became pregnant with my third child and we moved into together, I believed that we would all live happily ever after as a family of 5. 

However, that didn’t happen - without going into too much detail-  after my third child was born it became more apparent that my partner was finding it difficult to bond with my older two children.  I tried and tried to make it work.  I was so desperate not to have another failed relationship, I did not want another of my children to be from a broken home. I was constantly trying to balance the needs of my 3 children, making them happy, making my partner happy.  It didn’t work. Eventually it was necessary to end this relationship.  I was heart- broken. And also the feelings of guilt, shame, inadequacy, failure were compounded.

Then in amongst all of this my wonderful, Kind, caring, loyal and supportive Dad was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer.  (He consequently died 6 weeks after diagnosis).  The day I contacted Kim was days after his diagnosis.

When I started counselling with Kim I was physically, emotionally, mentally worn out.  I could not see that I would ever feel any differently. I felt stuck in a pit of darkness and negativity.  I knew I had to go on, still exist in this world but every day was an effort.  Kim’s approach was gentle, supportive- I felt listened to, valued and reassured.  It took a long time for me to start moving forward and for my negative thought process to start to change, but Kim persevered.  I felt understood and valued as a unique person.  Kim seemed to see my worth and my qualities, even though I couldn’t. As time went on Kim started to gently challenge my thoughts, feelings and perceptions of myself- which I needed.  She did it in a way that was subtle and kind but also very effective. I can’t pinpoint when exactly it happened but slowly I began to start believing in myself more and my confidence slowly built.  Eventually I started to see a little light at the end of the tunnel and that I didn’t just have to exist but could actually live a reasonably ok life.

I met Kim at one of the worst times in my life and I will be forever grateful that she phoned me back on that day.  It is testimony to Kim’s counselling skills that I am in the place I am today.  The combination of walking, talking and being around nature was very healing for me.  My life is by no means perfect, but I am back.  The light inside me that had been extinguished is shining again.  Kim helped me to see that the light was still there and that I am a decent human being with a lot to offer the world."

“My 32 years of life has so far come with many setbacks - childhood and family trauma, abusive relationships, and a cancer diagnosis to name a few. 

I still remember my very first meeting with Kim, and how different I feel in myself now compared to then. Not only did Kim help me process every thought, feeling and emotion that I’d been bottling up for far too long, but she also just accepted me exactly as I was. She believed in me in a time when I really didn’t, and couldn’t, believe in myself. 

Kim empowered me to find the strength to battle some of my darkest demons and open up about things I’d never even said out loud before. She sat with me in my trauma, and was there with me every step of the way until eventually, I finally felt able to let go. 

After what has been a truly awful couple of years and not wanting to carry on living, Kim helped me find myself again. My life is now filled with things that bring me joy. I’m recognising all the good things in my life instead of focusing on the things that I don’t have. 

I’m in the best place mentally that I think I’ve ever been in my adult life, and I know that whatever gets thrown at me now, I’m strong enough to cope. In fact, I often find myself thinking ‘What would Kim say?’ if I ever need to get back on track. I also know she is there if I ever needed to check in for another appointment, which is a great comfort indeed and one I certainly won't take for granted. 

Thank You Kim, for helping me to find the zest in life again!”

Ebb & Flow Counselling, Mindfulness and Yoga Testimonials