About Us

We introduce you to our Expert Panel, who will be facilitating the “ACT for Pain” program together with our four participants.

Experts

Lourdes

Dr Lourdes Gaspar is a Consultant in Pain Medicine and has over 22 years’ experience working in pain management services. He was Lead Clinician in Chronic Pain at a Specialist  NHS Orthopaedic Hospital in the UK for over 15 years. He now specialises in chronic pain associated with spinal cord injury, chronic pain following surgery and medico legal work involving cases of personal injury and clinical negligence.

He is a Fellow of the Faculty of Pain Medicine in the UK. He also served on the Executive Board of the UK Division of the World Institute of Pain (WIP) from 2010- 2014 after passing the internationally recognised Fellowship in Interventional Pain Practice (FIPP).

He has been an invited speaker at Pain Medicine meetings/ conferences at both a local and national level. Furthermore, he has taught at internationally recognised cadaveric workshops as a demonstrator to aspiring Pain Specialists.

Dr Gaspar is aware that the tablets used for managing chronic pain are frequently of limited benefit to many patients. Also, having provided injection therapies for chronic pain over many years, he realises that for most patients they are at best, only partially helpful.

He considers it important that chronic pain sufferers are empowered to develop psychological and emotional self-management coping strategies.

He is the founder of “ACT for PAIN”.

Lydia

Dr Lydia Rodney is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Head of Pain Management Psychology at a large UK NHS Hospital in the South of England. She previously worked at a major London Teaching Hospital specialising in oral and facial chronic pain conditions.

Lydia has over 10 years post-qualification experience in chronic pain management and enduring mental health issues. Her specialist interests include dealing with patients with altered painful sensations as a result of nerve damage. Her focus is on helping them cope with the distress this can cause.

She uses ACT in the majority of her work with chronic pain. She believes this model helps address the complex nature of how every individual perceives pain in a different way. Furthermore, she believes that ACT can help facilitate ways of coping with the very real and ongoing impact it has on day to day in the life.

Her approach stresses the importance of self-care and self-compassion.

David

Dr David Craig is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and has over 20 years’ experience working in chronic pain services.

He is currently working within a multidisciplinary chronic pain service in the NHS in Glasgow, Scotland. His work and experience relate to service-users in both group and individual settings.

David set up the first Pain Management Programme in Glasgow. He was trained in ACT by one of the founders in the model and he utilises this approach to help many of the patients he sees with complex pain problems.

He also worked with one of the Government NHS Education Bodies developing training and learning materials for patients with long term conditions.

He is currently the President of the North British Pain Association, a scientific body which aims further research and understanding in all aspects of acute and chronic pain.

Participants

Paula

Paula, aged 42 – is married with 2 young children and works as part-time work as a receptionist at a local health centre.

She was involved in a road traffic accident about 8 years ago and has had right-sided neck and arm pain ever since.

She has attended the local pain clinic and has tried physiotherapy, lots of different pain relief tablets and some injections to her neck. None of these treatments have helped in the long-term. She had neck surgery but her pain came back.

More recently, she has been offered an advanced pain therapy involving placing electrodes in her spine but she is clear that she does not want any more surgery. She really wants to try and reduce her pain tablets which leave her feeling tired and lethargic.

At home, she feels that she is not supporting her family as she should. At work, she’s worried  that she is not performing well and might lose her job and just constantly anxious about everything.

Paula is open to the program and hopeful that it could make a positive difference in coping with her pain and anxiety issues.

Comment: The character of Paula is fictitious and played by an actor. Her pain condition, her attitude and response to the program is typical of many patients who attend this type of program. We hope and believe you may be able to identify with some of the issues she is facing and observing her progress will help you develop your own coping strategies. (See T and Cs, section 5,9).

Alex

Alex, aged 62 – is married and has one daughter who is a single mother. He has been lorry driver for the last 30 years and previously did manual work in his 20s and early 30s.

Alex has chronic low back pain form wear and tear of his spine which has been described as lumbar degeneration.

To date he has received physiotherapy, tablets and injections. He doesn’t feel any of these treatments have been of any help to him. Furthermore, he has been told that back surgery would not be indicated for the degenerative changes in his spine and moreover could make things worse.

His relationship with his wife is under stress and communication between them is poor . He is aware that he is generally doing less of the jobs around the home and also not supporting his daughter and grandchild in the way he feels he should.

He is very sceptical about going on the ACT program and thinks it will be waste of time and can’t understand why his back has not been “fixed”.

There are some concerns whether he will see the course through to the end.

Comment: The character of Alex is fictitious and played by an actor. His pain condition, his attitude and response to the program is typical of many patients who attend this type of program. We hope and believe you may be able to identify with some of the issues he is facing and observing his progress will help you develop your own coping strategies. (See T and Cs, section 5,9).

Kamal

Kamal, aged 40 – is married with a young family and was working in successfully in recruitment

He has developed a pain condition called CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome) of his knee after a sporting accident.

He has had two knee scope surgeries, which if anything, he feels made things worse. He was referred to the local pain clinic. He feels that he has dutifully followed everything they recommended for his pain. This included going for a trial of a specialist treatment which involved placing electrodes in his spine, called Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS). He was told that his results did not indicate he would benefit converting the trial to a permanent form of this treatment.

At work he is falling behind where he knows he should be.

He is just not sure where to turn and confused about how a psychology program like ACT can help his situation. He decided to give it a try because his doctor has advised him of its’ potential benefits.

Comment: The character of Kamal is fictitious and played by an actor. His pain condition, his attitude and response to the program is typical of many patients who attend this type of program. We hope and believe you may be able to identify with some of the issues he is facing and observing his progress will help you develop your own coping strategies. (See T and Cs, section 5,9).

Lucy

Lucy, aged 35 – is recently married and does not have children. She was a successful fashion buyer and previously had a busy social life centred on her work

About three years ago she developed widespread body pain, finds that she is unable to sleep and describes herself as having “brain fog” much of the time. She has been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.

She has noticed that she and her husband are squabbling more often and she’s worried and confused about how to address these issues.

She is trying to be a role model for others with the condition and has set up a web site and writes regular blogs about “Fibro”. She is becoming quite well known in this arena and it’s become an important part of her life.

There are some concerns about whether Lucy is suitable for the ACT program and whether she sees it as doing some research for her blog site.

Comment: The character of Lucy is fictitious and played by an actor. Her pain condition, her attitude and response to the program is typical of many patients who attend this type of program. We hope and believe you may be able to identify with some of the issues she is facing and observing her progress will help you develop your own coping strategies. (See T and Cs, section 5,9),

 

Acknowledgements

Act for Pain would like to thank:

  • Dr Nicola Davies, Health Psychologist Writer and Journalist – for advice and assistance in the early phase of the project development
  • Dr Kevin Vowles & Dr John Sorrell – for their numerous publications in the scientific journals on how ACT can be applied to Pain Management
  • Ms Katherine Nathan and Team at RATCHET – for all the filming, direction, creative design,  animations and ongoing technical assistance
  • Mr Steven Grant and Team at Figment Agency – for web development, consultation and ongoing site maintenance and support