Chronic Pain Coaching: Tips for Those Who Want to Get Started
Chronic Pain Coaching is a new specialty for professional coaching.
For millions of Americans, dealing with chronic pain is a way of life. They must raise families, go to work, and cope with unimaginable pain, discomfort, and mental health issues at the same time, something many of us can’t begin to understand. For these individuals, it’s important to have a circle of support, allies who are empathetic to what they’re going through. This has resulted in a new area of support called chronic pain coaching. There is still so much about chronic pain that we still don’t understand, and to the general public, those questions can lead to beliefs and stereotypes about the individuals who are suffering that simply aren’t true.
That’s why chronic pain coaching has seen such a boom in recent years. Having someone who understands what the symptoms do to the body and mind and who can help guide the sufferer in the right direction when it comes to questions for the doctor about treatments is invaluable. For those who have worked in health coaching and are interested in moving into the area of chronic pain, there are some things to consider. Keep reading for some great tips on how to get started.
Chronic Pain Coaches Should...
Be Open to Learning
Professional pain coaches want to stay on top of new discoveries and treatments. There is still so much we don’t know about chronic pain and its origins, it’s important for coaches specializing in pain to take various training course on pain management plus attend continued education on the subject. Chronic pain varies in size and scope for each individual, and in some cases, it can even be misdiagnosed. The focus in chronic pain coaching is to build a strong, confidential relationship with the client so the client can look at their treatments, effects, options and in doing so, be a valuable added team member to their treatment plan.
Emphasize the Importance of Sleep
As most chronic pain sufferers have trouble getting good sleep, discussing options on how to get good rest is often a focus for a chronic pain coaching session. Some initial coaching sessions might start with the most simple things first, such as exploring with the client changing the bedding and mattress for maximum comfort. Discussions could also include sheets and blankets to regulate temperature, in addition to the various mattress options. Modern mattress technology is quite complex (including gel and latex memory foam) so with the help of a chronic pain coach the client can be much more prepared when going to the mattress store and explaining to the sales people their concerns and requirements with a mattress.
Most sufferers of chronic pain feel misunderstood and overwhelmed; some have family members and friends who don’t understand the nature of their illness and, therefore, have very different expectations for them. Chronic pain coaches are a vital member of the sufferers support network, and remaining empathetic will help your client feel understood and listened to, which is so important when it comes to healing and recovery. Simply having someone there who will listen without judgment and not question their actions -- such as needing time to rest after performing a simple function such as showering -- can help greatly.
As a chronic pain coach, you may be familiar with the importance of making an individual feel empowered. Boosting their self-confidence is a great way to keep them motivated and reduce feelings of anxiety and stress, all of which can help them find success in lessening their feelings of pain. One of the keys to doing this is to make your client feel like they are no longer a “patient,” but an individual who is living with a condition that they can manage.
Becoming a chronic pain coach takes time and a willingness to be open, as there are so many different types of pain that can’t be seen under a microscope. You’ll also need to be informed on treatment options and which questions your clients should ask their doctor. With the right training and a little patience, you can help those who suffer every day find peace.