Chronic pain is where an individual experiences pain for longer than expected following surgery, a health condition, or illness. It can also occur without any medical explanation present. Chronic pain impacts on children, adolescents, and adults, and can have a devastating impact on how people manage their daily lives. Individuals with chronic pain are also much more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation.
An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) approach to chronic pain has been shown to be effective and life changing for many clients. This approach explores how chronic pain can lead to a cycle of avoidance, restriction in activity, and a ‘shrinking’ world for many people. The impact of this is not only a life with pain, but a life with no fulfilment, richness, or meaning. An ACT approach explores how to use mindfulness, cognitive, and behavioural techniques so that clients can start living their life, even with pain present. This changes our client’s relationship with their pain so that life can be lived more fully, with presence and purpose.