How I suspect non physical aspects of pain:
-When they say they have tried everything and nothing works
-When they schedule their appointment with me and then immediately have a serious injury right afterward, causing them to have to reschedule for a later date.
-When they walk out of my office feeling great and then immediately re injure themselves
-When they are obsessed with certain life events, to the point that it comes up in every conversation
-When current life events prevent them from coming up with the time and money to do self care or get professional help (being "too busy")
-When they are gifted with the tools and resources, but keep forgetting those tools and resources are sitting right on their bedside table
-When they are easily triggered to the point of resistance by what other people have to say
-When they are only willing to see one therapist and will not consider combining therapies (emotional attachment to your favorite therapist is a real thing and will hold you back 100% of the time)
-When they have their mind made up that they are only going to see a new therapist once and this decision is made before they pick up the phone to call that new therapist (these people are the de-bunkers who feel coerced to make the appointment by a friend or family member and want to prove that nothing works for them)
-Secondary gains, such as going back to a job they hate once they recover, etc.
How to know when someone is ready to look into their non physical components of their pain:
-They are open to everything and anything in regard to different treatments and therapists
-They are focused on symptom resolution, rather than what the technique or modality is (they don't care whether it's myofascial release, trigger point therapy, reiki, basket weaving 101, etc.)
-They trust the professional to decide what techniques, modalities and treatments that they need (someone who found me online because they searched "neurokinetic therapy" didn't care that they ended up getting craniosacral therapy instead)
-They are not easily triggered by what other people have to say and appreciate all of the help and insights that they receive
-They are never "too busy" for self care or professional help. They make it a priority. (If you are another body worker, you make sure you pencil in "you time" and don't schedule your own clients during your "you time" even if they ask for that day and time)
-They understand that the important people in their lives deserve them at their best and they also understand how the important people in their lives are affected when they are not at their best
These lists are compiled from my own years of experience and observations. You may have more that you would like to add, based on your own experiences and observations as well.
So, what do we do about these non physical aspects of pain, you ask? I am going to keep the it very simple by recommending my number one favorite resource. It is a tapping book. The difference between tapping on your own from home and doing it with a professional is that the professional will help you find stuff that all of the self care in the world will not. This book is great and best to use in conjunction with working with a professional. The more self work you do in between appointments, the further you progress with the professional and the less appointments with them that you need, saving you some serious $$$$$$. This not not counseling or psychotherapy. The purpose of tapping for pain relief is to remove any obstacles getting in your way.
This book took care of excruciating pain and burning inflammation that I had in my shoulder for over a decade. I also recently facilitated a session with a client who had the same thing going on in her hips and groin area for over a decade, and the pain and inflammation were gone before getting her onto the table to do some manual therapy. I believe in this book so much, that I keep a stock at my office to gift to clients in need. My goal for this post, is to empower you, whether you are a client of mine or not.