PainRelief.com: What is the mission of Take Courage Coaching™ How is the coaching implemented? Do you focus on particular types of pain?
Response: Our mission is to equip and empower people to take an active role in mastering their pain and to educate in the science and skills of pain management coaching. According to a 2011 report by the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine, “Chronic pain affects at least 116 million American adults–more than the total affected by heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined. It costs the nation up to $635 billion each year in medical treatment and lost productivity.” Most patients continue to look for treatments or cures for their condition while adopting a passive “fix me” mind-set with their healthcare providers. Yet we know that there are many active things patients can do to improve their experience of pain. The problem lies in moving them forward from helpless victim to active participant in their own pain management. Coaching is the discipline specifically designed to make this possible.
Take Courage Coaching™ was founded in 2008 to offer pain management education, planning and tools to patients as an at-home resource. The simple structure, with the personal approach of coaches, allows those overwhelmed with pain to tap into their own capabilities and strengths. Their successes and resolution of pain spur them on to rebuild and grow. Many find their way back to activities, work and hobbies they had abandoned; some resolve most of their pain. The vast majority take seriously the task of managing the pain they cannot alleviate and regain the joy of living.
Our coaching is focused on strengths and solutions so that clients can overcome barriers without being discouraged. The program is client-driven, and coaches serve as nonjudgmental partners in the clients’ journey to manage their pain. Our coaches do not take an expert role in the client’s life but use their expertise to discover what the clients already knows and, with consent, give them tools that they need to thrive.
Because all pain in processed in the brain and pain can be managed there, we have successfully coached clients with spinal cord injuries, arthritis, Crohn’s disease, lupus, PTSD, low back pain and much more.
PainRelief.com: Tell us a little about the coaching experience and outcomes?
Response: Pain-management coaching is done by telephone. A weekly half-hour individual session allows the coach and client to discuss challenges and goals in a confidential setting. A weekly group session is an informal educational forum based on a topic relevant to pain management. Prior to each session, materials are emailed so clients have time to read the topic. During the session, the coach facilitates solution-focused discussion by encouraging input and questions from participants. The group format allows members to hear how others are coping with their pain and provides a community that applauds goals and celebrates successes. We have one-on-one coaching as well as group coaching. Our program is usually a year because we know that change takes time. We have an intake period in which we document the client’s starting point and TCC™ teaches life-long coping skills which help the client increase function and activity, re-experience productivity and socialization, improve communication with providers; and reduce emergency room visits, failure events and claims. Many clients return to work after learning the skills offered. It is our goal that each client develops their own self-tailored pain management plan during the coaching process. Although not a focus of coaching, 56% of TCC’s clients go off pain medications within a year of coaching. 24% are in the process of lowering pain medications. 70% have established healthy sleep patterns, are now exercising, and have increased productivity and social connection.
PainRelief.com: What else should readers take away from your report?
Response: The report confirmed our program works and we are giving our clients their lives back. We hope anyone who knows someone struggling with chronic pain will refer them to work with a Pain-Management Coach, because they can learn how to manage their pain in our program.
We also have a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach accredited coaching school to train health and wellness coaches focused on chronic pain. Anyone interested in learning more about our training, or who would like to become a pain coach should reach out to us or join one of our monthly Q&A webinars.
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