Mental Health and Pain Management

I had a client this morning who was sleeplessness. Along with that was tinnitus: a constant big hum in her ears. Now in her 50s, she had nursed her mother with Alzheimer’s who had died some 18 months ago. She was a successful business woman. Married but childless. Let’s call her Maureen. Part way through our session Maureen checked my rules about confidentiality. She then disclosed that when she was 9 years of age, some 45 years ago, her brother was hospitalised with Anorexia Nervosa. (I thought she may be going to tell me that he had inadvertently killed someone!). Maureen sees what her brother had as a ‘mental illness’ and she sees her late mothers Alzheimer’s also as a ‘mental illness’. I am sure that she fears, very much fears that she will ‘go the same way’. Her feelings when telling of this story were so very very dark. There is something about confiding in another the things that are dark for you. Our English culture has a saying ‘A trouble shared is a trouble halved’. To some extent this colloquialism is evidence based.

Many years ago I worked at the Pain Management Unit in Liverpool’s famous Walton Hospital. People there suffered from many kinds of pain including phantom limb pain. The doctor in charge said to me one day that ‘they all needed psychotherapy’ … Make what you want of that!!

Another new client booked for yesterday, Jane. She was in litigation procedures about her painful knee that had stopped her working as a police officer. An old teacher of mine, Dr D W Ebrahim used to say that however bad a symptom was, the sufferer got a gain. The outcome Jane was going for was money. Maureen and I are still working on her gain from the symptom – but think about it. What is YOUR gain. Can you let this go?

By going to Amazon then ‘Sound of Calm’ by Sue Washington and clicking on the CD cover you can listen, free, to a relaxation technique that will help you with your mental, physical or emotional pain.

Sue Washington has dedicated her life to helping people.  From early days as a school teacher she trained psychotherapists to an exacting National standard.  Her thrust in her later years has been to help people realise their power. You can ask her a question directly at

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