Alan Gordon LCSW
Alan is the Founder & Director of the Pain Psychology Center in Los Angeles. He is a founding member of Curable's Scientific Advisory Board, an adjunct assistant professor at USC, and just completed a groundbreaking neuroimaging study on the treatment of chronic pain.
Alon has a degree in neuroscience and was awarded the Certificate of Distinction in Teaching in Biology from UCLA. He is the author of "Breeding Between the Lines" and has appeared on BBC London News, NPR and BBC Radio.
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Full episode list...
How Do I Teach My Brain to Deactivate My Pain?
Fear is the fuel that keeps chronic pain alive. But as many pain sufferers know, it's hard to overcome that fear when it feels so powerful and so automatic. In this episode, Alan and Alon explain how to teach your brain to turn off the fear by introducing a new concept: corrective experiences and setbacks. Then, they provide real life examples of it in action with Sue, who suffers from multiple painful symptoms, and Christie, who feels pain whenever she types.Read an excerpt here »
How Do I Feel My Emotions, and How Can That Help My Pain?
Alan and Alon talk about the benefits of tapping into difficult emotions, and provide a simple and effective technique for doing so. Alan talks to Ginger and Chris who are having trouble connecting with their feelings, and he helps them feel their emotions in a safe way. Finally, Alan talks to Mandi and reveals the one emotion that every chronic pain sufferer needs to address.Read an excerpt here »
I’m Trying So Hard to Get Rid of My Pain, Why Isn’t It Working?
Many chronic pain sufferers know the heartbreak of working so hard on their recovery, but not seeing any improvement. In this episode, Alan talks to Paula who's endured chronic headaches and dizziness for two years. Paula has tried everything from medication to meditation, but nothing has worked. Alan helps Paula realize that her approach has been the opposite of what she actually needs to heal.Read an excerpt here »
How Can I Heal My Pain by Making My Brain Feel Safe?
Every chronic pain sufferer has one thing in common - a brain that does not feel entirely safe. In this episode, Alan and Alon explain how making your brain feel safe deactivates chronic pain. Alan talks to Laura, a pain sufferer who's been in "danger mode" for many years, and guides her through a somatic technique that calms her brain and puts it in "safe mode."Read an excerpt here »
How Can I Diagnose My Pain Like a Pain Specialist?
In this episode, Alan talks to Howard Schubiner, one of the pioneers of mind-body medicine. Dr. Schubiner has developed a unique protocol to help patients determine whether their pain is caused by their brains, or by a structural problem in their bodies. Dr. Schubiner shares some of his landmark techniques (such as provocative testing) geared toward diagnosing pain.Read an excerpt here »
How Do I Use Both My Left and Right Brain to Overcome Pain?
Alan talks to Amber, who suffers chronic pain in multiple parts of her body. She has a lot of fear around her pain and a lot of doubt that she'll recover. Alan works with Amber on two fronts: First, he uses a left-brain approach to help her see that her pain is coming from her brain and not her body. This calms her fear and her pain fades. Then he uses a right-brain technique to solidify those pain-free neural pathways.Read an excerpt here »
Can Changing My Thoughts Improve My Pain?
Many chronic pain sufferers struggle with negative thoughts like self-criticism, pressure, and fear. Not surprisingly, this type of thinking makes our pain worse. In this episode, Alan and Alon explore where these thought patterns come from and how you can change them. Alan talks to Lindsey, a chronic pain sufferer who constantly beats herself up and puts pressure on herself. Alan gives her the key ingredient to change these thought patterns and reduce her symptoms.Read an excerpt here »
How Do I Get to the Root of My Pain?
Living with chronic pain means living with chronic worry. But it's actually this fear, frustration, and despair around the pain that keeps your pain signals activated. Even once you know how destructive these thoughts are, it’s so hard to keep your mind from going there. Alan talks to Chris and teaches him a new technique to calm these thoughts, cutting off the fuel source for his pain. Then Alan and Alon describe how you can use this technique to overcome your own pain.Read an excerpt here »
How Can I Use Positive Sensations to Heal My Pain?
Alan and Alon introduce the concept of leaning into positive sensations, a technique that rewires your brain and deactivates pain. Alan talks to Emily, a back pain sufferer with a lot of fear around her symptoms. By embracing this technique, Emily does something she thought was impossible: she sits without pain. Then Alan and Alon demonstrate how to use this technique for your own pain.Read an excerpt here »
What Is Somatic Tracking, and How Can It Help My Pain?
Alan and Alon introduce somatic tracking, the most effective technique they’ve found for overcoming chronic pain. Somatic tracking teaches your brain to reinterpret signals from your body through a lens of safety, thus deactivating the pain. Alan talks to three patients and guides each of them through somatic tracking exercises, helping them to neutralize their fear and alleviate their symptoms.Read an excerpt here »
How Can I Tell If My Brain Is Causing My Pain?
Most chronic pain is caused by pain circuits in the brain that get stuck. But this can be hard to accept because pain feels like it's coming from our bodies. Alan and Alon discuss how to determine if your pain is caused by your brain, and explain why it's so important to embrace this belief. Alan talks to Greg who overcame his symptoms by changing his mindset about the source of the pain. And he helps Denise determine whether her pain is caused by her brain.Read an excerpt here »
What’s the key to breaking the pain cycle?
Alan and Alon discuss the science behind the “pain-fear cycle" and speak with real chronic pain sufferers to examine how it plays out in the real world. Amber, who suffers from chronic neck pain, calls in to share her fears and worries about how her pain dominates her life. Meanwhile, Emily struggles to let go of the idea that her pain is purely physical in nature. Alan and Alon guide their guests to let go of these fears to break the cycle of chronic pain.Read an excerpt here »
How Do I Manage Chronic Pain In the Wake of Coronavirus?
Chronic pain sufferers share their struggles with navigating Coronavirus anxiety. Kristin grapples with feelings of uncertainty, while Bethany has a difficult time cultivating a sense of safety during the global pandemic of COVID-19. Co-hosts Alan Gordon, LCSW and Alon Ziv help Kristin and Bethany calm their fears, and discuss how these anxieties connect back to the latest research on pain.Read an excerpt here »
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