Cognitive Functional Therapy with Peter O’Sullivan

I recently attended the third annual San Diego Pain Summit (I’ve been to all three!) and was fortunate to be the patient demo for Peter O’Sullivan‘s Cognitive Functional Therapy workshop. (for a review of the whole workshop, check out Diane Jacob’s post.) Funny thing was, heading into it I thought I was going to be the wrong kind of patient

Trying to get better while having to prove we’re in pain

How do we get better if we have to constantly prove we’re in pain? And does that constant need to prove we’re in pain prevent us from getting better? In recent posts I wrote about the shame I felt after developing chronic pain and how I’ve been working through that shame. They were the hardest posts I’ve ever written, my most vulnerable by far. But

Goals. Whose goals are they, ours or theirs?

I went for a walk today and took pictures, a favorite pastime of mine and one I’m very grateful for. As I was perched on two rocks, squatting to gain a better perspective for a photo, I started thinking about a few things, namely goals and motivation.  For a long time I couldn’t squat, at least not with any comfort.


Successful living: redefining living with chronic pain

I would like to make a plea. A plea to stop framing pain as the enemy, a thing to be battled, defeated, beat, eradicated. A thing not to be tolerated, to be vilified and stamped out. Perhaps our emphasis on pain as evil, pain as punishment, pain as suffering is only serving to make pain worse. Perhaps using warlike, military

A moment to reflect: how changing my environment changed my pain experience

I recently attended a writer’s camp in Big Sur, California, a stretch of rugged coast, and afterward took six days to drive from there to Colorado. I wanted to keep myself immersed in nature to let all that I’d learned percolate. I wanted to reflect, to think without distraction, particularly of the digital sort. I didn’t have cell reception for most

Regret and facing that which is not easy

My grandpa Fred died earlier this month. I went home to help my mom out a bit after his passing and have had time to reflect on life, meaning, happiness, compassion, regret…I think death tends to make us philosophers, does it not? Especially when we have regrets. Regret I told my mom that I felt guilty for not coming home


Pain: musing on language, motivation, and meaning

I’ve been away from writing for a while because life is happening all around me and I haven’t made the time, but a recent blog post by Dr. Bronnie Lennox Thompson got me thinking (as they usually do!) on a whole lot of topics. Appropriately, her post was titled “Musings on New Learning” and those musings got me onto plenty


I didn’t follow through, does that mean I failed?

I have been meaning to write this post for a while, but the post I thought I was going to write isn’t the post that I am now writing. This post was supposed to be a follow up to the post I wrote two months back (two months!) about how Simon Roost Kirkegaard helped me to change my pain by gently challenging some

Confidence when coming back from injury or while in pain

This post is a sort of intermediary between my last post, where I shared some of my discussion with Simon Roost Kirkegaard, a Danish physiotherapist and awesome human being, which led me to a new understanding of my pain and how my beliefs/fears/expectations about my hip were limiting me in ways I didn’t realize, and my next post, which will be

Changing pain: reaching out to patients, healthcare providers, and pain practitioners

I have had a lot of interactions with folks over the past couple of weeks about the changes that need to take place, and that are taking place, in the treatment and management of chronic pain and I’m ecstatic! I’ve heard amazing stories from people who are successfully managing their pain and truly LIVING their lives. I’ve also heard stories


What’s the definition of success when treating chronic pain?

Yesterday one of my pain heroes, Bronnie Lennox Thompson over at Health Skills, posted an article that really resonated with me called ‘Deciding When to Say When: Pain Cure? Or Pain Managed? I left a pretty lengthy reply on her blog post, two of them, actually, and felt like they contained some thoughts I should share with you all as well about

Managing pain from multiple angles: an outline for future posts

This whole chronic pain thing has been quite the path to navigate over the past 5+ years, and I have discovered a lot of things along the way. I’ve learned a lot about pain science and a lot about the art of living with pain. I’ve learned that pain is incredibly complex, just as people are incredibly complex. But I’ve

Fear of movement and persistent pain

I recently wrote about how my thoughts on movement have changed over the past couple of years (part 1 and 2), but I thought I’d delve a bit more into the evolution of those thoughts and why I posted them, why I think that our emphasis needs to shift a bit from the overly formulaic and prescribed movement to exploring