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Convincing Others - Introducing a Coaching Program

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by eightball776, May 2, 2023.

  1. eightball776

    eightball776 Well known member

    Anyone have experience with the The Pain Cure Clinic recovery program? I want to recommend it to a friend, but would like to hear some unbiased reviews first. She suffers from the whole gamut - back pain, migraines, anxiety, TMJ, insomnia, "Lyme Disease," Hashimotos? ... I lose track. Despite a solid understanding of mind-body disorders, and a childhood history that could come right out of one of Dr Sarno's books, she continues to live in the TMS rabbit hole, somehow convinced that she is unlucky enough to have all of these ailments simultaneously... With every new symptom imperative, a new doctor will invariably come up with some kind of diagnosis that covers a slew of vague symptoms to justify their efforts. She is constantly dealing with side effects from very serious psychotropics and unproven migraine medications.

    Thing is, I don't see how she could possibly come up with a reason not to try a program like this. With a 90-day money back guarantee, there isn't even a financial risk. Though i suppose she could come up with some excuse, kind of like how every single person I've met or known (and there've been quite a few) to suffer from chronic pain or some MBS has been unwilling to read a Sarno book or even take 90 minutes to watch the documentary. That part continues to blow my mind ... will spend more time than that weekly going to doctors & tests... will swallow dangerous meds, have operations.. but watching TV for an hour? Reading a short book over a few nights? That's a bridge too far. Even considering MBS & consuming any information on the topic somehow throws out the diagnosis they've been clinging to that validates their syndrome to themselves & others. This is especially prevalent in those who are concerned about what other people think. It's something I do understand - how when you don't "look" sick & there's no empathy to be found.. especially if G*d forbid you rely on opioid pain medication and aren't in a wheelchair or hospice - then empathy almost universally turns into judgement & indifference.

    I didn't mean to rant about familiar topics; I've posted here before about how I can convince this person to at least consider this stuff .. Is this a good program to start with?
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Maybe your friend would be more open to a more pragmatic/scientific approach, like Alan Gordon's recent Pain Recovery Therapy. Just Google that, you'll find the new wiki and a forum discussing the book.

    I often recommend Nicole Sachs, whose free podcasts are really compelling, and who has a selection of different paid groups and programs. I'm sure you can find a podcast episode specific to your friend's issues.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Although, I have to tell you that victimhood is a powerful motivator for remaining stuck. We see it here even among people who come here on their own because their rational brains really want to believe in this work. But their irrational brains are simply too f***ed up, usually as a result of childhood dysfunction, and victimhood wins.
  5. Booble

    Booble Well known member

    My advice, stop trying to force this on her. You can give her the info and tell her that you have found help and relief through this understanding about TMS and then let her decide if and how she will experience it.
    For me, I wouldn't do that program regardless of money or guarantee because that's not how I learn. I know your intentions are good but leave her be. When and if she's ready she will. It doesn't work if we force it on someone.

    I'll give an example from when my husband was drinking too much. He found rational recovery (which is similar principles to TMS) on his own while reading a fiction book where a character mentioned it. He looked it up himself and in days literally stopped drinking completely.
    On the other hand if I had tried to push him into doing something about the drinking I'm sure it would not have worked.

    If you've told your friend about the "miracle" that is TMS, let her decide if, when and how she will explore it.

    Good luck!
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  6. eightball776

    eightball776 Well known member

    Wow - thanks for the info. I can't believe how hard it seemed to be to counter those arguments about why it is problematic to publish phony testimonials. I didn't read all of it, but not sure if some just weren't understanding that these were fabricated cases or thought this was just an acceptable form of promotion... either way I appreciate the heads up. I have tried coaching & it never helped me at all, and my friend isn't going to try it either, no matter how much it cost or what kind of guarantees they had. She is just probably going to suffer for the rest of her life, even though she is very familiar with TMS, knows my experience with it, etc... She just isn't going to try a different approach, and maybe she is just used to being a victim & that somehow justifies the suffering.
  7. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    It was just one person doing that, for obscure reasons, because everyone else got it. Our forum founder reviewed the whole situation, but it all just faded away after this thread, so we didn't have to take any action.

    It's so frustrating to watch our loved ones keep traveling the downward spiral, isn't it? I'm sorry for your friend, and for you, to suffer what is really a loss.
  8. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    I like @Booble 's idea!
    Why not buy them Alan Gordon's book. You can always just hand it to them. One of the great things about the book is how he tossed his John Sarno book away at first because he didn't want to be told his pain was all in his head. He talks about his disbelief in the whole process before he actually did it (and created a guideline). Best of all he runs his own therapy "clinic" (I hate that medicalized word) - if your friend needs support they can always contact this group of therapists. I'm sure it's mentioned in the book, they are easily utilized via Zoom.
    Offer a tool, leave it be. Your friend has to make the decision.
    If their inability to make the decision you want them to make bothers you, then it's more on you to examine what that means to you and why it bugs you so much.
    Booble likes this.
  9. eightball776

    eightball776 Well known member

    Thanks everyone. There have been others, but the main two examples I'm talking about, one I sent Sarno's book to .. the other is well aware of it, and I shared "All the Rage" with each. I'm certain neither watched a minute or read a page. This is the same result with everyone I've recommended this to. Maybe I'm just lousy at persuading people because they know I've continued to struggle with back pain over the years, but don't really understand the difference between needing an Uber to get back home from down the block because the sciatica is crippling, etc. (TMS) vs. stiffness & joint pain all over due to systemic inflammation from Crohn's Disease, the latter disappears immediately with Prednisone, while the former disappears with Dr Sarno's teachings. It's the dichotomy that continues to make my recovery such a challenge.
  10. eightball776

    eightball776 Well known member

    I have a third - a family member scheduled for spinal fusion next month. She's had no major trauma (though does at times blame a fall from 15 years ago) & is without question suffering from TMS. Like the others, won't read a book or watch a video, and gets very upset at the implication of MBS ... she misunderstands psychosomatic illness, and immediately assumes she is being attacked by the suggestion, which also equals a lack of empathy. I collected a few articles by Dr. Hanscom but wondering why... the same reaction is assured. No matter how many times I've done the "what do you have to lose by watching a 90 minute documentary?" ... She has no kids, no job, and is somehow too busy to watch this or read a book... yet major spine surgery is the only option because a guy in a white jacket told her this. I told her 4 of them with no interest in my case recommended the same thing for me, only a more serious operation...and they were all wrong. None of it makes a dent.
  11. Booble

    Booble Well known member

    It's frustrating, isn't it?
    I don't think your "what do you have to lose" is resonating. Think about if a Hare Krishna Moonie came to your door and said, "just read this, it will only take a minute and it might change your life. you nothing to lose." The time factor wouldn't be a compelling enough reason to look at it.
    The best you can do is keep talking about how it helped you. How surprised you were. How it's so different than you originally thought. etc etc.

    ...And... you also have to look at yourself and your need to help them. I'm like that too but who is to say that it's our job to save the world?
    Sometimes you have to stop and let them make their own choices, for better or worse.
  12. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Many people who eventually, and successfully, embraced TMS knowledge reported that they'd rejected such suggestions often, sometimes for years, before they were willing to entertain something different. Plant the seed, and move on. You never know ;)
    Ellen likes this.
  13. eightball776

    eightball776 Well known member

    I guess I thought I had a better shot since I nearly missed her wedding reception because I couldn't handle the walk. I was renting wheelchairs & seriously facing the possibility of needing one for the duration. I rode my bike 5 miles yesterday without pain, never had surgery, etc. What's really irritating is all of the phony stats & ads for unscrupulous participants in the back pain industry .. Google success rates for spinal fusion & you see numbers > 90% and you don't see the "Failed Back Surgery Syndrome" data until way down the page, or all of the information about how many operations are done on abnormalities without any direct connection to the cause of pain. I can almost guarantee that she'll have the surgery & feel better for a while from a placebo effect, then the pain will return, likely along with the headaches & anxiety (more clear signs it's MBS). I met someone recently who was very angry that her insurance wouldn't cover a FOURTH back surgery after 3 that were unsuccessful. She wouldn't watch the documentary either. They just cling to these diagnoses because it is difficult to be sick or in pain but not "look" like you are. I've been dealing with that my whole life, but some people just really need to prove it to the world.. like that spinal stenosis, fibromyalgia, etc. label defines them & justifies everything... It almost becomes their identity & makes it so much harder or impossible to get the message through. Even after all of Sarno's success...Dr Hanscom's work...and so many others.... all together have to be exponentially more successful than fusion for chronic LBP, yet even with the data, nothing's changed, and people routinely get unnecessary surgery. I had a doctor lop a bunion off of my foot years ago.. terribly painful procedure... only to discover later that the bunion wasn't even what was causing the pain. It may not have been TMS (another doctor insisted he'd found the real source), it may have been one of several things - but he saw a structural abnormality & just assumed that was the source. Malpractice.
  14. Duggit

    Duggit Well known member

    Let’s take a closer look at that.

    In The Divided Mind, Dr. Sarno wrote: “After many years of experience it is our impression that not more than 10 to 15 percent of the population would be willing to accept a psychosomatic diagnosis.” By psychosomatic diagnosis he meant disorders “that may appear to be purely physical, but which have their origin in unconscious emotions.” As great a clinician as Sarno was, it appears that he knew he had no ability to persuade the 85 to 90 percent otherwise. I say that because later in the book he wrote:

    “Because acceptance of the diagnosis is essential for a positive outcome and because so few people are open to such a diagnosis, I have a telephone conversation with all who call for an appointment. After yers of experience it is not difficult to determine whether someone is a good candidate for the program, and for those who are not it is a kindness to them and to me to discourage them from making an appointment. This is not discriminatory but simply faces the reality of what is required for successful treatment. It is analogous to a surgeon’s decision not to operate on someone who is not a good surgical risk. There is no doubt that this practice has been a factor in our statistically successful treatment program.”
    Earlier, in The Mindbody Prescription, Sarno claimed a “cure” rate of 90 to 95 percent, and he wrote that “the rate is greatly influenced by the fact that for many years I have screened all patients before admission into the program.” Puzzlingly, he wrote in the preface to that book that he was accepting “about 50 percent of those who call.” Why was he not rejecting 85 to 90 percent of those who called? Probably those who called were not a cross section of the population. My guess is that the vast majority people who called had read one of his books and thought that what they were reading likely applied to them because of their personality traits.

    Clinical neuroscientist Lorimer Moseley tried for years to get chronic pain patients to reconceptualize their pain and stop regarding it a marker of body tissue damage or disease and instead regard it as due to psychological or social factors. He has a community eduction program in Australia based on his work called Pain Revolution, and there is a similar program in the United Kingdom call Flippin’ Pain (referring to the need for people in chronic pain to reconceptualize their pain). A Moseley-led team did an observational study of about 1600 people suffering from chronic pain of different sorts (back pain, shoulder pain, headaches, etc.). They went through through a four week education program to get them to reconceptualize their pain and were tested on their understanding and acceptance of the program. After one year, they were interviewed about their pain levels. About half were pain free or nearly so. The other half saw no improvement or had gotten worse. The difference was whether or not they understood and accepted the education program.

    The new, new thing in treating chronic pain is what Alan Gordon calls Pain Reprocessing Therapy. In his book explaining that, titled The Way Out, he says “the first goal of Pain Reprocessing Therapy is “changing the way your brain interprets the pain,” which consists of “teach[ing] your brain that the pain is not dangerous.” By that he means you have quit fearing the part that hurts is damaged or defective and will never get better. In my opinion, there are a lot of similarities with Moseley’s pain reconceptualizing. Perhaps the most notable difference is something Gordon calls “somatic tracking,” which plays a big role in his therapy and has no counterpart in Moseley’s eduction program. In what is sometimes called the Boulder Back Pain study, Gordon tested his Pain Processing Therapy in a randomized controlled trial against two other treatments for chronic back pain, namely, placebo injections into back muscles and standard nonsurgical medical care. Pain Reprocessing Therapy was much more successful than the other two treatments. So how successful was it? After one year, 54% of the Pain Reprocessing Therapy patients were free or nearly free of back pain.

    My interpretation of the Moseley study and Boulder Back Pain Study is that about half of people with chronic pain are able to reconceptualize/reprocess their pain (or in Sarno’s terminology accept that it is psychosomatic) and recover, and the other half are not. The good news is that Sarno appears have to been wrong when he wrote that 85 to 90 percent of people are unwilling to accept to accept a psychosomatic diagnosis. The bad new is that it appears only about 50% can to accept it.

    I don’t believe your inability to make any progress with the three people you mentioned above, eightball776, reflects badly on you OR on them. They are perfectly normal in their unwillingness to accept a psychosomatic diagnosis. I believe they deserve sympathy more than criticism. In my personal experience as someone with a perfectionist personality trait (common to TMS folks), I have a tendency to expect perfection not only from myself but from others in my life. Fortunately, as part of my full recovery from TMS I have gotten pretty good at noticing when I am irrationally expecting perfection not only from myself but from others, and tamping it down.
    Last edited: May 16, 2023
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  15. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I have several people in my nearest circle who are skeptical about TMS concept, including those who witnessed both my condition at the worst of my TMS and my full recovery, one of them is a physician. I have at least two people in my nearest circle who are classic TMS cases, both refused to even discuss a psychosomatic nature of their conditions. One of them even read my book about my recovery, cover to cover, only to comment on the literary qualities of my story, but none on the substance. As much as I wanted to help people that I love and care about, all I could do was to pull back and very carefully drop some hints here and there, trying to gently encourage them in the right direction. When and if they are ready to accept what seems so obvious to us, they will. Or not. Acceptance of reality is a part of the TMS journey, and I accept this reality.
    Ellen likes this.
  16. eightball776

    eightball776 Well known member

    Thanks so much for taking the time to write up such an insightful reply. It reminds me of when I first discovered Dr. Sarno, and encouraged my father to schedule that phone interview, after which he was promptly rejected. 25 years later, he is still in pain, and still points to "bone on bone arthritis" or "playing sports on concrete", etc., and is sadly no closer to considering any alternatives. He's still trying to be an athlete at 80, and exhibiting all of the traits of TMS since he was in his mid 30s. You're absolutely right about what to expect from others & the whole perfectionistic thinking ... I think what bugs me is how little effort we're talking about. 90 minutes to watch a documentary? How about just the first half??!! It's that closed-mindedness that baffles me. Years of pain & nothing works .. wouldn't you be interested in anything, especially if it costs nothing but a few minutes of your time? I guess there are other factors at play, and psychology experts smarter than me could probably understand it better.
  17. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is my favorite story about non-believers. Watch from 9'40":
  18. eightball776

    eightball776 Well known member

    It's that "all in your head" line that is always the root of the defensive reactions .. The concept of a psychosomatic illness; the emphasis on the fact that the symptoms are as real as a broken leg, yet the genesis is psychological - for some reason this is almost universally misunderstood among this group, regardless of intelligence. I don't know why, because it seems to easy to understand. Maybe it's my perspective, I don't know. I do know how frustrating and discouraging it can be to constantly feel like I have to prove or justify being in pain. When I was in agony & couldn't stand/walk for really any length of time at all, I waited 45 min. for a wheelchair at the airport & almost missed my flight. Actually it never came, and I had to limp there. When I had a surgical boot on my foot a few months prior, a wheelchair showed up without even requesting one, and the TSA/staff bent over backwards to accommodate me. When you're not a senior citizen & have no outward indications of disability, people assume you're faking it or just that it couldn't possibly be serious. I get that someone presuming that I'm a hypochondriac or doing it for attention, etc. is infuriating.. What I just can't get is the refusal to even educate oneself on every possible option to alleviate severe, long-lasting pain, especially when you're looking at risky surgery as the last resort. I would go to a witch doctor & try voodoo before I hopped up on that operating table.

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