As intimate partner violence can have a long term impact upon physical pain and psychological distress, the lived experiences of six women with chronic low back pain (CLBP) who survived intimate partner violence (IPV) were studied in order to deepen the understanding of how they have experienced chronic low back pain and IPV. Two superordinate themes were identified from the findings; ‘Psychological interface of IPV and Pain’ referring to the psychological impact and ‘Pain as a symptom of IPV’ reflecting the physical trauma responses that the women identified. This article identifies clinical implications for Counselling Psychologists to consider when providing therapeutic treatment for people with chronic low back pain. This study suggests that if issues associated with the trauma are not identified, treated or supported, pain experiences may be impacted and this could risk compromising therapeutic treatment. Questions need to be asked about trauma history when assessing for chronic low back pain, and management treatments need to incorporate strategies for understanding and coping with the impact of intimate partner violence. Counselling Psychologists need to be at the forefront of delivering training to medical colleagues who may not consider the significance of trauma upon chronic low back pain experiences and responses.
|European Journal of Counselling Psychology
|Accepted/In press - 14 Jul 2020