1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
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Derek S. Help with next steps

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by Connak, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. Connak

    Connak New Member

    This question was submitted via our Ask a TMS Therapist program. To submit your question, click here.

    Question
    Hello,

    Before I get to my question, I would like to tell my story. I will try and keep it as short as possible.

    My name is Aaron. I'm 24 years old and live in Sicklerville, NJ. I began having extreme back-neck-shoulder pain shortly before my last semester in college in January 2014 (I went to King's College in Wilkes-Barre, PA). After the first two weeks, my mom had me see a chiropractor in the area and I felt much better. I kept seeing him until I graduated. When I got back home, I tried almost everything in the first year I was home: another chiropractor (who discovered I had a small scoliosis curve), physical therapy, trigger point injections and signing up for a gym. All of these helped a little but didn't remove the pain.

    From February to September of last year, I was in a stressful job at a pharmacy as a cashier (I won't say the name of the pharmacy just to be safe). It was miserable, as I had to put up with all sorts of customers- most of them taking their frustrations out on me. While I was only being called in for one 4 hour days, I couldn't stand the job anymore. My psychiatrist was have me excused from my job there after he wrote a letter. It was after this that I found out about Dr. Sarno and TMS. While doing a YouTube search for yoga for chronic back pain, I found video mentioning Sarno. I did my research and immediately thought I had TMS. The reason why I started having the pain was because I didn't want to leave King's College. For me, that was the end of my academic career. I was and am still afraid of what will happen next. Along with this, I do have anxiety in general and social anxiety- the latter making it hard for me to make friends. I was also an IEP student while in school and used the special education services that my college offered. Anyway, I found the TMS Wiki and looked at the programs and doctors. Given it was free, I did the SEP.

    It has now been a week or two since I've finished the SEP. While the SEP was helpful, I had already written about the traumatic events a few times before. I'm an aspiring journalist and have two self-published books: one is about my years at camp and the other about my years at King's. Most of the traumatic incidents are right there in those books. I'm still having some back, neck and shoulder pain. However, I do have ways of easing it: making a list of my anxieties and/or reading something by Dr. Sarno. I've also started seeing a psycho-dynamic therapist, as recommended by one of the TMS doctors I called. Yesterday was my third time seeing him. Living in South Jersey, there aren't any TMS doctors but this therapist is familiar with it.

    So my question is now that I've completed the SEP, what do I do now? I already mentioned some of the things that I'm doing now but is this enough? I'm not sure if I should try another program, read more books (I've completed Healing Back Pain and am now reading The Mindbody Prescription)? I guess I'm having anxiety about this not working. Any ideas or advice?
     
  2. Derek Sapico MFT

    Derek Sapico MFT TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Thanks for your question, Aaron.

    It sounds like you are doing a lot of work and have really bought in to the TMS approach. I think that it is important to keep your recovery plan simple. I often see people feeling confused and overwhelmed because they've read a lot of literature on TMS and everyone seems to have a slightly different approach.

    In my opinion, the details of the approach are less important than the commitment to whichever approach you are using. My favorite approach for TMS recovery is Alan Gordon's Recovery Program. It is not a highly structured workbook-style program but it does provide an intuitive and effective approach to getting better.

    Commit yourself to the therapy process to address the emotional aspect of recovery. Also, practice behavioral techniques such as creating safety, outcome independence, and self-compassion. Keep it simple and remember, you are working on creating new neural pathways so repetition is crucial.

    Best of luck to you.

    -Derek


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