Introducing the idea of self care
Many people living with persistent pain will have learned to see responsibility for their health and wellbeing as being in the hands of others. For someone in this situation, the idea of self care can seem daunting.
One way to introduce the idea of self care in a constructive way is to look together at Six Self Care Questions.
Six Self Care Questions
A great way to get people thinking about self care in a constructive way, the Six Self Care Questions can be used at any stage in your work with them around managing their pain.
They will be particularly useful in introducing the idea of self care to a person who has hitherto imagined that their health and wellbeing is in the hands of others.
How to use the Six Self Care Questions
Introducing the idea of self care can be daunting for a person. They may feel it is either beyond them, or even that it is somehow about withdrawing a valued source of healthcare support.
The Six Self Care Questions can help allay both these concerns.
Introduce the questions as a discrete exercise that you will do together, to uncover a little of how the person thinks and feels about what they need.
Asking the questions – and reflecting back a summary of their responses – provides an opportunity for the practitioner to demonstrate their commitment to helping the person develop the knowledge, skills and resources they’ll need to make self care a reality.
Far from meaning less care from others, it reframes self care in a more reassuring way, as a skillset that can emerge from the support they are receiving from you, rather than as an alternative to it.
Insights from the exercise can also lead directly on to the idea of how to get from “where I am now” to “where I want to be” – this is action planning.
You could also give the Six Self Care Questions sheet to the person to take away and complete themselves. This should only be done in conjunction with your direct work with them around the subject of self care, and not as a substitute for the therapeutic conversation.
Record your CPD
Live Well with Pain has partnered with Fourteen Fish, a UK company specialising in medical appraisal tools, to create a CPD recorder that is fully integrated into the site.