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Psychologist for physical difficulty

(10 Posts)
mrsmeerkat Wed 06-Apr-16 23:13:53

My auntie has on going long term health issues and we are more like friends really.

She has chronic pain.

She has been referred to two psychologists. Is this common?

We would like to help her get to the bottom of this.

stilllovingmysleep Wed 06-Apr-16 23:14:47

Do you mean whether it's common to be referred to a psychologist for chronic pain?

mrsmeerkat Wed 06-Apr-16 23:16:01

Hi sleep. Yes that's really it

Finchley26 Wed 06-Apr-16 23:21:46

Yes. Either so they can help with coming up with coping strategies or to see if there's an underlying emotional problem that's causing the pain. The boundary between physical and emotional can be quite blurry!

Starface Wed 06-Apr-16 23:24:43

Yes psychologists do work with chronic pain, there are quite a few specialist services for this. Clinical Health Psychology (which this fits under) is a huge growth area for psychology. Psychologists increasingly work with e g. Cardiology, hiv/aids, obesity, cancer, audiology, lots of rehabilitation for thinge e.g. spinal injuries.
In the case of chronic pain it is not to suggest the pain is in any way "unreal" or "psychological" in origin. It is more that a psychologist can help in its management. Its part of the growing understanding that physical health difficulties have bio psycho social aspects, and helpful strategies for dealing with them and their implications can be found in all those areas too.

mrsmeerkat Wed 06-Apr-16 23:25:54

I think there is a real link but we have never talked about it, despite being close.

I hope something good comes of it.

mrsmeerkat Wed 06-Apr-16 23:30:58

I really appreciate that. She has had personal issues from long time ago that resurface a bit despite life being good for her now.

She is highly strung in her ways - gets angry quickly so I often wondered would the tenseness impact the level of pain she feels (and totally agree it very much real).

lougle Wed 06-Apr-16 23:35:45

Yes it's quite common. Pain is a complex phenomenon and chronic pain can be made worse by associated psychological difficulties. CBT has been shown to be effective in reducing pain also.

Finchley26 Thu 07-Apr-16 09:39:17

In the case of chronic pain it is not to suggest the pain is in any way "unreal" or "psychological" in origin.

Just to clarify, I wasn't hinting the pain was unreal in any way. Emotional stuff can raise itself as very real physical issues! The example I always like to give is when you get butterflies in your tummy when you're nervous :-)

mrsmeerkat Thu 07-Apr-16 21:07:16

Thanks so much

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