Overcoming pain requires us to understand it and have a range of skills that we use moment to moment to change the direction in which we are going.
To be able to change gears once we are aware what is happening is vital. Cultivating awareness is the first step, followed by adopting a new behaviour and subsequent change for the better. ABC.
B – Behaviours
C – Change
I like ‘threes’, and the ABC above is one that I use to guide individuals from where they are when they arrive to where they want to be. Each encounter (session) that we have will be unique and designed with specific aims using ABC.
We are continuously adapting to our situation, internally and externally. Much of this happens without us really knowing about it in the form of habits. When we have suffered pain for some time, there are a number of protective habits that have been created and whilst these maybe useful with a new injury, they prohibit recovery in time. Identifying these habits and then working hard to create new healthy ones is a key skill.
The world is constantly changing, we are constantly changing and the people around us are constantly changing. We are not in isolation to others and the environment in which we are situated at any given moment, which is why both are so influential. Whilst we are subject to these influences, we can also use them to our advantage and in particular to change the social dimension of pain. One of the most significant features of the social dimension is isolation.
One becomes isolated through withdrawal and avoidance. Isolation is simply not good for health — the way you think and the behaviours that follow. And it worsens with time, so certainly a dimension of the pain problem that must be addressed. Gradual resumption of social activities, similar to gradual increase in physical activities, allows the individual to realise that they are safe to progress. We do not function in isolation to others and the world around us. I think that we define ourselves in relation to others and the environment, for who are we without another?
The moment to moment decision making has to be based upon clear thought. Clear thought emerges from awareness of self, others and the environment — the ‘econiche’ (Edelman) or the concept of emotional intelligence being utterly relevant. ABC it is. Learn these skills and see how you can move forward. The range of training methods and techniques used all base their effectiveness on the ABC.