Jeff Levy, LCSW
Mental Health, Relationships, Trauma, Identity
Originally Published on Branching Out: The Live Oak Blog, February 2018
No one wants to feel pain. At least that’s true for most of us. In fact, a good number of us make the decision to enter psychotherapy to alleviate pain. As a therapist, I’ve also been in the position of wanting to support my clients in easing the pain they are feeling. I’m still not so sure that’s an unrealistic goal. What I have learned, however, is that the way to assuage one kind of pain often requires that we feel another. No one necessarily signs up for this.
Jeff Levy, LCSW
(originally posted on Branching Out: The Live Oak Blog, May 2014)
I was in a session with my physical therapist recently, and she was talking about chronic pain. She explained how when we have an injury or some type of condition that causes chronic pain, we begin to move in ways that protect us from triggering this pain. For instance, if we have a back injury, we may begin to walk in ways that help us avoid placing ourselves in any physical position that somehow makes us more vulnerable to that pain. Consequently, we begin to strengthen muscles that ordinarily would not be activated when we are moving more naturally. She said that this is called “guarding.”
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