Who we are
Most people tell us that living with chronic pain can have a major impact upon their everyday lives. Long-lasting pain is very difficult to live with, and can affect many different aspects of people’s lives, for example personal relationships, activity levels, work-status. It can also result in a reduced quality of life and emotional distress, such as anxiety, low mood and depression.
Our clinical psychologists work in partnership with healthcare professionals from Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Hospital and Bridgewater Community Healthcare to provide a comprehensive Chronic Pain Management Service. Alongside medication, and sometimes injections, our aim through working together is to help you learn to cope better with the pain you experience, to support you in managing your pain/condition and to increase your overall quality of life.
The role of clinical psychology is to help you cope with the negative emotions associated with chronic pain, such as anxiety, depression, guilt, fear-avoidance, etc, and to assess and work on how these are affecting you within your everyday life. A psychological approach does not aim to cure pain, but rather to help understand and cope with the difficult emotions associated with it, and the impact of these emotions on the overall pain experience.
Being referred to clinical psychology does not mean that we think your pain is ‘all in the mind’, rather that we recognise that living with chronic pain often has far-reaching emotional consequences. Talking with someone about how you are thinking and feeling about your pain is often the first step to identifying how your emotions affect you and your overall pain experience.
Who is our service for?
Our service is available for patients who are experiencing long-lasting pain, and who have been referred to Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Hospitals Chronic Pain Service by their GP.
Who do we work in partnership with?
Our clinical psychologist works within the wider Chronic Pain Service, alongside pain consultants, nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.
How to access our service?
You can be referred to our service by a member of the healthcare professional from the Chronic Pain Service involved in your care.
What will happen at your first appointment?
Your first appointment with the clinical psychologist can last up to one hour, and will be an initial assessment of your emotional wellbeing and coping in relation to your chronic pain.
We understand that you may feel upset or nervous about coming to the appointment and we're trained to help you feel comfortable in sharing your experiences.
By the end of the appointment, we will discuss possible options around ongoing sessions if this is appropriate to your needs. Where possible, a group-based approach with other patients who have chronic pain and who are experiencing similar issues will be offered - this has been shown to be the most effective treatment option. If this is not suitable or possible, where appropriate it can be an option to access psychology sessions on an individual basis.