Pain Management Using Mind-Body Bethesda Counseling

Bethesda Mind-Body Counseling – Bethesda Pain Management – Bethesda Psychotherapy

It is widely accepted now that the mind is the body. It’s an interesting notion and a helpful one at that. More and more medical practices are seeing the benefits of paying more attention to treating the mind when dealing with physical symptoms or pain.

Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS), sometimes called Self-Leadership, is a mindfulness-based psychotherapy that teaches you to regulate your mind/body’s emotional states, especially ones that you don’t usually notice. It is an efficient way to deal with common emotional or behavioral issues like anxiety, mood regulation, or addictions, and can make dramatic changes to physical issues like pain.

Harvard Study of IFS Therapy for Pain Management

Brigham and Women’s Hospital (affiliated with Harvard University) recently completed a study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who used IFS therapy. The study evaluated the patients’ blood levels and other physical indicators of the symptoms of RA to see if changes in their mind and emotional intelligence would create changes in their level of physical pain. The nine-month study ended in December 2010. While results are not yet published, word through the grapevine is of significant positive results.

The video below is of study participants who talk about the effects of their use of IFS techniques to change the level of pain in their bodies.


Mindfulness Therapy of Bethesda MD: A hybrid mind-body psychotherapy

Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy combines a mindfulness approach with psychological theory in a user-friendly package. It is not just mediation or traditional mindfulness practice and is not just addressing your feelings like many types of therapy. IFS is a hybrid approach that appeals to many personality types. If you are familiar with sitting and meditating, you will feel right at home. This can lead you to develop a more systematic approach to your mediation called Self-Leadership. If you’re not the “bang a gong” type of person and don’t have experience with meditation, you’ll appreciate how IFS grows your emotional intelligence, clarifies goals, and improves productivity and efficiency.

How It Works: IFS Bethesda Psychotherapy for Chronic Pain and Stress Management

IFS works by teaching you how to lower the influence of your primitive and reactive reptilian brain (used for survival) when your emotions are triggered. Our self-protective reptilian brain is constantly buzzing with pre-set “programs” (IFS calls these “parts”) designed to help us avoid and fear dangerous things. We usually have many such protective parts of us running at the same time and don’t even know it. A disease that causes pain or discomfort naturally triggers many of its own protective parts in our psyche. Pain and discomfort is drastically compounded by the protective parts of our psyche that have run on auto-pilot our whole lives. IFS helps you tune into these various protective parts of you and turn the volume down, leaving you with only with the actual symptoms of your condition and removing symptoms that were caused by your mind’s automatic resistance to the pain. Learning IFS can be life-changing since pain and things you are used to fearing can be dealt with clearly and with courage!

The general result of this is lowering stress, and increasing your body’s parasympathetic nervous system. It also results in exponential growth of your emotional and relational intelligence. You can courageously begin to see yourself more the way others see you and make small adjustments that allow others to rub you the right way. When it comes to chronic pain, IFS is very successful at giving you direct access to your body’s natural ability to relax and heal itself. You can learn to tune into channels of information inside of you (often at the emotional or belief level) and make adjustments that can have amazing effects on chronic pain symptoms.


Office Locations:

Keith Miller Counseling
1320 19th Street, NW
Suite 200
Washington DC 20036

4300 Montgomery Ave
MD 20814                                    More about Keith

Our fees are between $200-$400 for 50 minutes, depending on your counselor. We do not accept insurance, meaning we are not "in-network" with any health plans.
However, many of our clients submit claims to their out-of-network health insurance and receive 40-60% reimbursement.