Welcome to The Pain Coach Programme
Starting to shape your positive future
This introductory page provides you with important resources to clarify what you want to achieve and to start understanding your pain.
I recommend that you use a journal or a notepad.
Clarify your picture(s) of success
What are the real results that you want to achieve? Write this down in positive terms.
You may have a number of things you want to achieve: personal, sporting, family, work etc.
In your life, what is important to you?
What really matters? Reminding yourself helps you to make the best decisions. For instance, health, fitness, family, career or spiritual beliefs.
When we are connected to what matters, we choose to take the appropriate action. Putting these together, we can form habits, which govern the quality of our lives and create our identity.
You can clarify this by making a list of your top 5.
These are your characteristics that help you to deliver results. When you are using your strengths each day, you will feel alive, in flow and often energised.
One way to clarify your strengths is to think of an example of a time when you have been successful. What strengths did you use? For example, focus, determination, courage, empathy. There are many. Notice how you feel as you go through this exercise.
You have a positive core. These are your strengths and styles that you have used before to be successful. You can bring your core forwards as you take steps towards your ideal self, and build upon it.
Of the strengths you have identified, which will be useful to overcome this challenge?
Everyone has strengths. Everyone has achieved success at some point. Everyone has potential.
Contributing to something greater than oneself has its own positive effect on health and wellbeing. You can listen to Tom Rath on this here.
Here is a free online test you can use: VIA Institute on Character
Prior challenges you have overcome
Can you think of challenges you have faced before that you overcame. How did you achieve success? What principles did you follow then and how could you do the same or similar now?
A simple way to become attuned to your picture of success, your values and your daily wins is to journal. Some people choose to write a few sentences whilst others expand and draw. It is yours to use as you wish, but always in a positive way. At the front is your picture of success, which each morning you can review and prioritise certain steps to take (your programme of practices and coping skills that we will expand).
Each day we experience little wins. Recognising and acknowledging these wins is important as they motivate further actions.
You can also choose to write down 3 good things that have happened that day. We know that the more we notice positive feelings, the more we notice. There is an upward spiral that boost our wellness. The importance of building wellness is that this is one of our greatest buffers to life’s inevitable challenges. We cannot avoid the ups and downs, but we can learn to roll with what happens by learning about our responses and expanding our repertoire of choices.
Other useful questions
- Why is it important to you to get better and improve your life?
- How prepared and committed are you to do what you need to do to get better?
- What motivates you to do your best work?
- Are you ready to start?
Here is a series of blogs written to help you understand your pain. They appear on the Understand Pain (UP) social enterprise page. I co-founded UP in 2015 with a patient so that we could study and deliver ways of helping people understand their pain and move on to live better, healthier lives.
Some useful videos & links to help you deepen your understanding:
Richmond appearing on various podcasts >> Pain Talking (Understand Pain social enterprise website)
Dr Mick Thacker on Pain as a perception >>
Anil Seth TED Talk >> How your brain hallucinates your conscious reality or listen here
Lisa Feldman Barrett TED Talk >> You aren’t at the mercy of your emotions. Your brain creates them
Andy Clark, a leading philosopher on predictive processing & consciousness ~ click here
Karl Friston on embodied cognition
Dr Kristin Neff on self-compassion >> practices
**You only need complete these if asked**
We will measure you success by the real results you achieve. There are also some validated tools that we can use.
Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia — This is a list of phrases which other patients have used to express how the view their condition. Please circle the number that best describes how you feel about each statement. Make a note of your score and email it to me: [email protected]
Short Form-36 >> please click link below, complete and email me your form (a photo is fine)
Pain Catastrophising Scale
The Pain Coach Programme (PCP) >> we work together to develop and grow your understanding of your pain in the context of your life, and expand your repertoire of practices, exercises and coping skills as you progress towards your picture of success. Many of these skills you will take forward and be able to apply to other areas of your life to achieve results.