Chronic Pain and Perfectionism, with Romy Sherlock

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Do you experience persistent, or chronic, pain? Or you have a loved one who does? You might know how hard it is to pace yourself on a ‘good day’, overdoing it and then ‘paying for it’ the next day. Especially if you have high standards for yourself, then you may just push through the pain rather than being kind to yourself. 

In this episode, I speak to Dr Romy Sherlock about chronic pain and perfectionism, as they often go hand in hand. 

Romy Sherlock is a clinical psychologist specialising in working with people with chronic/persistent pain.  She spent 8 years leading an NHS pain psychology service and set up Retraining Pain, a multidisciplinary team to help people with persistent pain.

We cover:

  • What chronic pain is
  • Injury or illness causing pain
  • Overprotective nervous system
  • Biopsychosocial model of pain
  • Life and identity before/after pain
  • Changing your relationship to the pain
  • Complete recovery vs. Adjusting to it
  • More than ‘issues in the tissues’ or ‘all in your head’
  • Pain as threat detection
  • Making rehab less scary
  • The stress and anxiety of pain
  • The link between trauma and pain
  • Perfectionistic tendencies and self-criticism
  • Overdoing and pushing through vs pacing
  • Pain experience in women
  • Hardwired to want to achieve and fit in
  • Feeling like a burden
  • Acceptance isn’t resignation

Find Romy Sherlock here: www.retrainingpain.co.uk 

Resources mentioned – 

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk

When The Body Says No by Dr. Gabor Maté

Living Beyond Your Pain by JoAnne Dahl and Tobias Lundgren

Explain Pain Handbook by Professor Lorimer Moseley and Dr. David Butler.



Order my book, The Lasting Connection, here

To spend 90 days to develop love and compassion for yourself, join the online course, The Compassionate Couple, here

Find me at www.thethomasconnection.co.uk

Instagram: @the_thomas_connection

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thethomasconnection

Pause Purpose Play Facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/pausepurposeplay 


This episode was edited by Emily Crosby Media

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Michaela Thomas
Michaela Thomas

Senior Clinical Psychologist & CBT Psychotherapist

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