How to deal with the ‘chronic’ pain of chronic pain
A psychological assistant is the first of a new generation of assistant psychologists, but many don’t know how to deal.
Dr. Daniel Zajac, a psychiatrist and professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, has been helping patients for over a decade.
He says he has helped over 1,000 patients and has seen a surge in interest in his field.
“I was surprised by how many patients I’ve had who were so excited about their own treatment,” he says.
Zajac says his advice for patients and their families would include: “Keep an open mind and be patient.
Keep in mind that your therapist is not an expert.
Be prepared to be flexible.”
The idea is to provide a supportive, nonjudgmental environment, with the expectation that people can find a therapeutic relationship with their therapist, who will help them find a treatment plan.
In this case, Zajace says he’s been able to work with some patients, including a couple with chronic pain.
But Dr. Paul Naylor, the director of the Centre for Integrative Health, says it’s crucial for the assistant to know how she will work with patients.
Naylor says, while the work of a therapist is often challenging, he can help the assistant understand the differences between how we interact and how we feel, so that they can develop a relationship with the therapist.
For example, when you want to say, ‘I can’t talk right now’ to a patient, Naylor suggests, “You might say, I’m sorry but that’s because I’m not ready to talk right away.”
The assistant needs to understand that what she is seeing isn’t real, Naskasaid.
“She needs to have a realistic understanding of how the body works and how to think about things,” Naskassaid.
“She needs the ability to listen, not just look at things.
If you can listen, you can talk.
If you can’t listen, she can’t understand you.”