Pain is a complex psycho-biological process. Pain is designed to be attention grabbing. To disrupt the way we think and feel. Most pain is 'acute' and due to tissue damage owing to disease or injury. In acute pain its important that we 'stop', that we seek 'treatment' for it. You would not want to continue walking on a broken leg. So its right that pain also makes us anxious and motivates us to seek help.
However persistent or chronic pain is pain which continues when tissues have healed or there is no other disease processes going on. Almost like a 'malfunction' of the nervous system.
A person experiencing persistent pain has to work 'against' the normal 'effects' of pain. They have to become skilled at doing things, even though the pain is there. They have to reduce the interference of pain in their life, not let it 'take over'. We know that people experiencing persistent pain are more at risk of developing low mood and also that low mood can 'up regulate' pain and make it worse.
Pain management psychology helps the person to be able to stay connected to meaningful activities and relationships despite the pain. It helps the person with persistent pain to work with their mood, sense of acceptance and resilience in the face of pain. Research has shown that this improves quality of life and lessens the impact of pain. It may even reduce the pain severity itself.
Dr Mandeville has 15 years experience of designing and working on pain management programmes and conducting one to one interventions with people experiencing persistent pain. She uses proven evidence based approaches such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Clinical Hypnosis and Yoga to help people experience and enjoy life more again.