SDR therapists are qualified psychologists or counsellors who have been accredited by SDRTherapy.org. There is nowhere else in the world to gain that accreditation, and all accredited therapists are listed in the global directory which we run for the purpose of driving clients to accredited therapists.
These dedicated professionals have completed training and can skilfully deliver the SDR Chronic Pain Program, or are well into their training and have our comprehensive support to help deliver the program in the highest-quality way possible.
We don’t just train health professionals in SDR Therapy and leave them on their own, we work very hard to support them in every way we can because we understand how vital it is to get this therapy out to those who need it, and to do that with the highest level of skill possible.
That support includes driving as many clients to them as possible. After all our mission is to change the face of mental health care globally and this comprehensive support for health professionals is in service of that mission.
Every Client Is Unique
It’s important to realise that although all chronic pain springs from some initial insult or trauma to the body, every single chronic pain client is different, because each individual’s unique brain has learned pain signalling in a way that’s likely to be different to anyone else. An individual’s life is not exactly the same as anyone else’s life, and the ways our conditioned feelings, thoughts and behaviours have arisen are not the same either.
So a client’s treatment will never be identical to someone else’s. Nevertheless there is a definite process that you can follow over the 16-session program that we recommend.
Your client’s first step will be filling in a survey prior to an initial appointment. We need to be confident that we can help them, and there are forms of chronic pain (such as endometriosis and adenomyosis for example) that are not truly chronic because they are acute in nature – they are readily and fully explained by pathology. Likewise there are disorders where SDR Therapy is contra-indicated.
The initial appointment will consist of a debrief of the survey, together with a comprehensive intake discussion. Depending on the complexity of each unique case, there may or may not be time for a brief demonstration of an SDR technique. We always try to make time for this if we can, because it’s an opportunity for the client to see for him/herself that SDR Therapy can quickly switch off pain, and we want to provide them with strong hope that they will finally get free of pain, no matter how severe or how long they’ve suffered.
Although most people get total or large-scale relief very quickly, it’s important to realise that lack of thoroughness can lead to their nervous system “relearning” how to produce false pain signals and we definitely do not want that. This is why we start with a 16-session program, that consists of 8 weekly sessions, followed by 4 fortnightly sessions, followed by 4 monthly sessions.
What You Can Expect
Very few people fail to get improvement. Around 60% of people get total relief from their chronic pain, and a further 25% of people reduce their pain by more than half. Your client may or may not get full or partial relief right from their first session.
Over the course of the program, they may continue to have pain and flaring, and may need to keep taking medication. However they’ll be tracking their pain and other symptoms on a daily basis and when you look at their chart you should expect to notice that flaring is less frequent and less severe, and that their pain levels, despite going up and down, have a definite downward trend, along with reduced medication and return to normal activities, at home, at work, and in their community. The goal is zero chronic pain, zero flaring, zero pain medication, and complete return to their various roles.
It’s really important to do this tracking of the pain and other symptoms because otherwise they could have a bad day and think “this isn’t working” despite the fact that their pain is actually decreasing.
Even if they completely eliminate their pain quite quickly, they should continue with their program in order to avoid “relearning” of the pain, and to fully bed in the changes they are making. Because the program is necessarily a “whole of life” program, they should also experience greater happiness and satisfaction across the board.
What Does an SDR Therapist Charge?
This is of course entirely up to the psychologist or counsellor. Many will not offer insurance because the rebate is so small and the paperwork so burdensome. Their fee structure will depend on what type of costs they need to cover in order to keep running. The health insurer or workers compensation insurer may or may not cover SDR Therapy because it’s so new, even though SDR Therapy has the potential to save them many billions of dollars every year.
In general in most countries, fees range from $120 to $360 per 50-minute or 1-hour session. For a 16-session SDR Chronic Pain Program, a therapist may offer a discount for up front payment, or may help the client to arrange a payment plan so that they can get their therapy now without struggling financially to do so. If they have 2 or more years to pay for their therapy, without any interest, it could be a better choice for them.
We recommend all our colleagues to source a good, ethical provider of payment plans because we recognise that chronic pain very often interferes with people’s finances and therefore with their ability to access health care and this shouldn’t be a factor. We believe that pain relief, whether physical or psychological, is a human right.
Your Next Step
There is so much more you can read and think about on our therapist support site at www.sdrtherapy.org, but maybe the best thing to do is to just dive into the training, and there are a couple of options. First the free one:
At the top of the home page you’ll see there’s a free training program to familiarise people more deeply with the theoretical basis of SDR Therapy, and also share in great detail one of the techniques which uses sensory disruption of reconsolidation to achieve rapid extinction. Even though it’s free it still includes support for mastering and implementing it.
However if you already realise that CBT and mindfulness and other approaches are not as effective as you may have been led to believe, and you’re ready to deep dive into comprehensive training, then go ahead and check out the full program here: https://www.sdrtherapy.org/online-program/.
I hope to see you there.
Look out in your mailbox for your next email from me, where we can kind of “meet” and you can put a face to all this great stuff …