Persistent pain brings with it many difficult challenges. A person’s activities – at work, at home and at leisure – are often strongly affected. Stressful situations become more difficult to handle, sleep can become problematic, feelings of anxiety or depression can take hold, and relationships can become distant or strained.
Learning effective pain coping skills is often the key difference in allowing individuals to keep pain at a manageable level while maintaining a productive, rewarding and enjoyable life. This program emphasizes mindfulness skills – cognitive-behavioral strategies that develop greater moment-to-moment presence of mind, healthy engagement in activities, and emotional clarity. While presence of mind is essential to doing anything well in life – be it working, playing, or conversing with others – it is especially important for keeping pain in perspective: as a challenge you can learn to live, with rather than a life-defining preoccupation.
Substantial research, including studies conducted by Jim Carson, PhD, has demonstrated that mindfulness training can promote:
reductions in pain levels
enhanced ability to cope with pain that may not go away
more energy for valued activities
relaxation and improved sleep
effective coping with stress
lasting improvements in mood
Mindful Pain Management sessions are offered continuously on an individual basis, and periodically in a group format, at the OHSU Comprehensive Pain Center.
These sessions are led by Jim Carson, PhD. Dr Carson has worked extensively with patients suffering from persistent pain, including conditions such as: fibromyalgia, chronic back pain, cancer-related pain, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and complex regional pain syndrome.
Prior to becoming a psychologist Dr Carson taught meditation world-wide for many years. He has conducted innovative research into the application of mindfulness-based programs as adjunctive treatments for various conditions.
Speak to your medical provider about referring you for the Mindful Pain Management Program. The Comprehensive Pain Center staff can then assist you in the scheduling process and will verify your insurance benefits. Patients without insurance coverage can participate with a self-pay fee. If you have questions, please call 503-494-7246.