Chronic Pain, Eating Disorders Mindfulness approaches

Chronic Pain, Eating Disorders

Chronic pain brings hundreds of people to therapy every week. Many physical and psychological issues can cause chronic pain and it is important to rule out any medical causes and get treatment by speaking to a physician.

Some people experience chronic pain as the result of untreated emotional overwhelm, unexpressed anger, depression or grief. Symptoms of chronic pain typically include headaches; muscle tension, pain or fatigue;  shooting nerve pains, and tension in the back, neck and shoulders.

Many people with chronic pain disorder are reluctant to explore the emotional causes of their pain for fear of being told that they are inventing the symptoms. However, true somaticizing is a very real condition in which the emotions are unable to leave the body.

Another reason why people are loathe to admit the emotional roots of their pain, is that they fear that there would be no medical cure. Chronic pain with an emotional root requires that they confront the emotions that have been hidden away, and this can be challenging.

Therapists and psychologists who do  chronic pain therapy offer a confidential and safe environment in which people can explore pent-up emotions and as a result experience short term and long term relief. Symptoms caused by long term emotional build-up may require long-term treatment and due to the physical changes, some medical intervention and active physiotherapy is often very important as well.

If you are looking for a counsellor or psychologist who works with chronic pain you may want to search the directory to find a professional whose approach will suit you best.

Eating disorders comprise a range of attitudes and behaviors relating to food and body-image. The three main eating disorders are Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia, and ED NOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified). These conditions manifest to different degrees in different people and can sometimes be mistakenly judged as poor eating habits, or a lack of willpower.

People with eating disorders don't eat in harmony with their bodies' needs, instead, people with Anorexia Nervosa eat much less than they need, while Bulimia sufferers binge and then induce vomiting. They may also do other things to compensate for overeating, including exercising or fasting. ED NOS combines any combination of the other two conditions.

Apart from the physical symptoms and behaviors above, someone with an eating disorder will generally also have poor self-esteem and obsessively research or talk about food, dieting or exercise. Poor body image will cause them to either wear clothes that cover up every inch of their bodies, or flaunt  in order to attract attention. They will find it hard to accept criticism and compliments.

Therapy for eating disorders depend on the patient. While some people respond well to short term outpatient treatment, others respond better to long-term inpatient treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy and family therapy are long term treatments that have been proven to be effective, while group therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapies and feminist therapies work for people who will respond well to short term therapy.

Family therapy is often advised for children and adolescents who are experiencing eating disorders. Research has also shown dialectical behavioral therapy to be effective.

If you are looking for a counsellor or psychologist who addresses eating disorders, you may want to search the directory to find a professional whose approach will suit you best.

Mindfulness approaches

Mindfulness approaches help clients to be focused in the here and now. Generally rooted in Eastern meditative techniques,  Mindfulness approaches offer a non-judgmental alternative therapy for dealing with stress and other psychological issues.

By observing worrisome thoughts and learning to accept situations for what they are, people can learn to cope with issues better and make more productive choices.

Mindfulness approaches include a range of models, including dialectical behaviour therapy,  mindfulness-based stress reduction, and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. These approaches can be used in a wide range of settings to reduce the symptoms of a broad spectrum of psychological issues.  These therapies can be practiced effectively in individual or group therapy.

If you are looking for a therapist who offers Mindfulness approaches, please browse our list of practitioners below..

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Ginnie Cramer

MC, RCC
Ginnie Cramer is a BCACC Registered Clinical Counseller with a Master's degree in Counselling Psychology from City University of Seattle. Ginnie values each client as an individual and acknowledges his or her unique... Read more