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Depth and detail

by | Jan 18, 2023 | Chronic pain, Pain Coach

Do you get the depth and detail from the questions you ask and the environment you create?

The start

Your style of welcome sets the scene.

You try to create a comfortable and safe setting for the coming conversation and therapy/treatment.

Every moment counts.

How does the person (patient) respond to your greeting? How are they moving? Facial expression? Breathing pattern? Words used? Voice tone? Eye contact?

Much to be gleaned when you are present and aware, so you can choose the most appropriate response. This is a collaboration.

The work in the clinic is done together.

An opener

Starting with an open question.

An invitation to the person. A connection is made.

We engage.

Mine is usually, “What’s been happening in your world?”

Take a moment to get a sense of what this question asks of the person and what it acknowledges.

What is your opening question? What are you trying to find out? Achieve?

We help the person settle with this question and offer the space to tell us what is most important.

The conversation proceeds. Focusing on what matters to the person.

It will guide what we do together; ie/ the skills, exercises, practices, strategies.

Detail and Depth

I need detail and depth.

To gain insights into the person’s lived experience.

(Via empathy, I can step into their shoes. I must also step out of course.)

Depth and detail are not necessary for every point made. You use your clinical judgement to decide based on what is important for the patient and what you think is going to be most useful.

A good example is when the person tells you that they had more pain (aka a flare up).

You might ask a question such as: “Tell me more. What actually happened?”, “What was going on for you at the time?”, “Why do you think your pain got worse?”, “What do you believe caused that increase in symptoms?”

Now you know what it was they were doing, how far, how many, the context, their emotional state and more.


Cultivating your curious mind has many advantages.

You are going to ask open questions and listen to the answers.

It means in difficult moments you remain open and present rather than defensive and closed.

Curiosity is a positive and healthy state, benefitting you and who you are with.

You can show caring concern through your curiosity.

They are skills, which help you gain depth and detail

It’s great because all I have described above are skills that can be practiced.

Part of your overall practice as a healthcare professional.

Your practice is what keeps you on the path.

Daily habits, ways, skills, approaches, intent etc.

We study and develop these in Pain Coach Mentoring.

Working with people who are suffering chronic pain requires knowledge, skills, know-how and the practice of your craft.

A route of mastery.


🔥 I am Richmond. I help you understand, ease and overcome your chronic pain, and to live your life.

🔥 And mentor the clinicians/therapists who help people who are suffering.

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Richmond Stace The Pain Coach reading