Practise creating your own Pain Stories to illustrate Target Concepts – key ideas helpful for everyone to understand pain. Here’s one that we prepared earlier!
Clocks, time and pain
Target concept: Pain is normal, personal and always real.
Have you ever thought about how many different contraptions have been designed to help us tell the time? The sundial, hourglass, water clock, mechanical, pendulum, quartz, atomic etc…. and also the variations of time that they tell: seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years, millennia etc….or how that time is displayed. You can wear some of them, put them in your pocket or on your desk or wall, some are huge and take the centrepiece on a grand building. All of these clocks and timepieces help measure or signify a sequence of events and existence. Always changing. Creating the appearance of a past, present and future. Interestingly, some people believe that time isn’t an event or a thing and in itself cannot be measured.
How does this relate to pain? Pain is also communicated in many different ways: through words, sounds, movements, actions and more. Some people believe there are different domains to a pain experience: mental or physical, psychological or sensory. Pain may be influenced by and associated with experiences in the past and present and the anticipation of those to come in the future. Like time and its readout, pain will always change. This may be quite slow for some or more rapid for others.
Unlike watches or clocks though, you cannot see someone’s pain. It is also impossible to measure objectively. This means that some people will believe that it (your pain) isn’t real. Unfortunately, this is a message that many people experiencing ongoing pain receive, perhaps because the person communicating that message can’t make sense of it from their perspective? We believe that, although we can never truly know what it’s like to experience the pain that someone else experiences, it is crucial that we make them feel believed. Like time, we cannot see pain but it can rule our lives.
-Tim Beames and the Noigroup Europe team