Patient’s goal: Self efficacy: Self-empowerment Part II

Patient’s goal: Self efficacy: Self-empowerment Part II

When I work with patients my goal is to shift the passive approach to an active one. An active approach shifts the responsibility of pain management from the healthcare provider to the patient. This approach focuses on making the patient more self-aware of their pain provocation triggers. It makes us self-aware of ourselves. What movement patterns causes pain? Is my pain brought on by positioning (seated/standing/lying down), reaching, bending, etc.? An individual’s active recognition of these patterns is vital in their recovery.


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Most chronic pain is produced by certain habitual patterns that occur in one’s life. If a patient is able to understand their role in their own pain manifestation/provocation, they can begin to control their symptoms. All of a sudden, a paradigm shift can occur in regards to how pain is managed or modulated. This most certainly promotes an active participation in the recovery process.


With a passive approach, we place all of our hopes in the hands of the healthcare professional. If the professional fails, a feeling of hopelessness occurs. With an active approach, we promote self-efficacy, and the concept that we, and our actions, have an outcome either good or bad on our symptoms. This, in my opinion, is the most important variable in patient outcomes. Patients are empowered with the idea that they have control and they can play a positive role in their recovery.

What are the main differences in passive versus active philosophy?

• Hopeless vs. Hopeful
• Low Self-Awareness/Control vs. Empowerment and Self-Efficacy


I challenge everyone suffering from pain to look deeper at their situation and ask what role they play in their pain. If we can share the responsibility with our healthcare provider we will achieve better outcomes.


Talk to your healthcare provider about what makes your symptoms better, and what makes them worse. Therapy at the simplest level recognizes patterns, both good and bad. Avoid the bad, do more of the good, try it out, I bet it helps!!! Next time, when discussing your problems with your healthcare provider, instead of asking what can you do for me?”, try “what can I do to help my situation?”, you will surprise your therapist, but more importantly you will surprise yourself as you will get much better!!

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