The assumption that training principles applied to pain and associated disability is yet another sign of our deep craving for defined, guiding reasoning structures – from A we progress to B, from D we regress to C etc…
It reflects our inner aversion to complexity, to subjectivity. But in reality, we are all these complex and naturally subjective beings.
You deal with humans? You deal with complexity. You deal with subjectivity. Listen and learn to make sense of them. Which is so, so much.
You have Science to keep you in touch with earthly reality. Use the best scientific evidence as a guide. And also, to define your lines. It will light the way! (Don’t you know what makes “the best available scientific evidence”? You may not have realized it, but you made a commitment to it the day you became a healthcare professional. Invest in it, you won’t regret it!)
Mix it up there and see how the whole is so much more than the sum of its parts. There you have your recipe. Reason, reflect and adjust if necessary. In one way or another. Yes, it is not straightforward. Sometimes it is also sideways and backwards. Deal with it.
Sometimes you will “fail”. Deal with that too. If the therapeutic relationship is “right” it will not be the end of the world and you both will certainly find a new path. Which may well not be with you. Yes, you have to deal with that too. And that’s really OK.
Complexity, let it be.