Typically, physical and psychological pain are treated separately, even when they’re deeply intertwined. Nearly half of all therapy clients suffer from chronic physical pain, which often has no clear medical cause, including back and neck pain, headaches, and fibromyalgia. We now know that all pain is constructed by the brain’s alarm mechanism, which can be activated by either physical injury or perceived emotional threat. In this workshop, you’ll learn tools to simultaneously address physical and emotional pain in your work with clients. You’ll explore how to:
- Explain how the brain’s predictive coding mechanisms generate and moderate the experience of physical pain, and avoid the trap of clients hearing it as “it’s all in your head”
- Teach clients how to reverse rather than cope with chronic brain-induced pain using pain reprocessing therapy
- Implement Emotional Awareness and Expression Therapy, which has been found to be more effective than standard psychotherapeutic treatment
- Understand cutting-edge research on chronic back pain, and determine if your client has psycho-physiologic-induced pain
Howard Schubiner, MD, is an internist at Ascension Providence Hospital and a clinical professor at Michigan State University. He’s the author of Unlearn Your Pain, Unlearn Your Anxiety and Depression, and coauthor of Hidden from View.