My name is Michael MacDonald. I am a psychologist with a special interest in helping people with long-term or chronic pain. I love my job. I get to meet very interesting people from all walks of life. Pain and injury can affect anyone, at any point in their lives. So, I never know who will walk into my office next.
I get to spend a lot of time with each person. I this way, I can really get to know their injuries, their pain and how it has affected their lives.
It is not easy coming to see a psychologist when you have physical injuries and pain. Most people don't really know why they were referred to us. Most people are not sure there is any point to even showing up. To help them feel comfortable, I usually start by explaining what I do.
First, I explain that if you have short-term pain, you would never end up coming to see a psychologist like me. If your pain settles down within a few months, you can return to your normal life. Not much stress is involved.
If your pain and injuries continue, month after month, with little improvement, then the stress starts to build. Maybe your work is disrupted and you are having trouble getting benefits. Maybe your pain and limitations interfere with your family life and your spouse and children are having difficulties coping with the extra load on them. Worst of all, the stress caused by your injuries and limitations may be wearing you down, disrupting your sleep and making it harder for you to cope with your never-ending pain. At this point, you don't even know where to start getting your pain, and your life, back under control.