The Gift of Pain with Transformative Possibilities


  • Richard Hovey Faculty of Dentistry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec



Chronic pain, self empathy, self compassion, healing


This personal narrative explores the experiences of pain metaphorically as a gift. The intention of this presentation is to offer alternative ways to reflect on chronic pain, life and taking risks to move from health literacy toward health agency with help. I will describe my approach to decision making using the hermeneutic wager which provides a means to imagine possibilities while mindfully assessing risk. Learning to manage pain and learning to live well with pain through self-empathy and self-compassion as a gift that we are not always aware is within our grasp.


This approach was only essential for my own healing process but helped many others who have participated in our community project called HOMEBASE funded by the Movember Foundation to reduce social isolation for men living with chronic pain.





How to Cite

Hovey, R. (2020). The Gift of Pain with Transformative Possibilities. The International Journal of Whole Person Care, 7(1), 13.

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