Chronic pain is a complex phenomenon that involves a variety of psychosocial factors which can have a profound impact on one’s quality of life. It can be depressing and/or stressful to experience persistent painful sensations. Being in pain may affect interpersonal relationships and cause anxiety and fear – leading to interpersonal avoidance and isolation - which in turn, can lower one’s pain threshold. There are several studies which have clearly demonstrated the disturbing influence that chronic pain can have on patient behavior.
Research has also shown that chronic pain patients are likely to have difficulty expressing their pain in an effective manner. Chronic pain can have far reaching implications in a patient’s life – significantly impacting a patient’s sleep, memory, attention, thoughts, emotions, beliefs, perception, personal identity, financial well-being, appetite, social role(s), spirituality, and ability to enjoy a meaningful and productive life.
The healthcare providers at The Helm Center share a singular purpose and focus to create a comprehensive chronic pain program available so that we might empower our patients to achieve the highest quality of life possible. In our efforts to achieve this goal, The Helm Center provides an interdisciplinary treatment approach which has been uniquely designed to address the complex realities of living with chronic pain. The Helm Center has doctoral level mental health providers who are qualified to offer a variety of somato-psychological treatment modalities. These modalities include cognitive behavior therapy, interpersonal therapy, individual therapy, coping skills training, group therapy, and/or biofeedback therapy. These treatment options provide our patients with a comprehensive treatment program that will support them in managing their physical, emotional, relational, and behavioral issues related to their chronic pain.
The mental health providers at The Helm Center utilize empirically validated psychological treatment interventions which have proven to be highly effective in treating issues germane to chronic pain – such as depression, anxiety, stress, improving relationships, and enhancing one’s self-esteem and sense of self-efficacy. The Helm Center can also provide psychological assessments – which will help elucidate the particular treatment needs of each individual patient. The mental health services that are provided at The Helm Center play a significant role in actualizing our shared vision to enhance our patient’s quality of life.
COPING SKILLS TRAINING
At The Helm Center we provide our patients with the opportunity to develop specific tools and/or skills that will help them to manage their experience of pain on an emotional, behavioral, spiritual, and physical level. Our coping skills training will incorporate relaxation techniques, assertiveness training, stress management, social skills enhancement, biofeedback, and individual, didactic, and group therapy. These training methods will emphasize the development and acquisition of practical skills that patients can utilize in moments of physical and emotional distress.
The mental health providers at The Helm Center will create customized training protocols which match each individual patient’s needs and personality with an optimal set of coping skills. As patients become proficient in their use of coping skills, they will no longer feel helpless, powerless, and hopeless, but rather they will feel empowered and confident to effectively manage their pain, stress, emotions, and relationships. These coping skills will help patients to effectively adapt to a variety of new and old situations which previously felt unmanageable. Coping skills training is an essential and vital component of any successful comprehensive chronic pain treatment program.