Meet the Founder

terrie-body

Terrie Carpenter | CEO & Founder

Terrie Carpenter is the founder of Allies for Change, a private health-care practice that specializes in Non-Medication Pain Management and Sustainable Recovery.

She began her career in 1967 when she graduated from the Army Medical Specialist Corps as a physical therapist and first lieutenant. She remained in the army until 1969 and attained the rank of captain. Her experience in the army shaped her career, being on the forefront of medical advances during the Vietnam war. She learned to be a “thinking therapist” and to collaborate with my medical colleagues to attain the highest quality of patient care and still strive to value and embody this ideal.

Finding herself once again on a medical forefront in pain management, Ms. Carpenter founded Allies for Change. Terrie treats patients and design pain management programs for healthcare providers and addiction centers. She is also frequent speaker on pain management and opioid addiction, and recently presented at Dr. David Smith’s 5th annual Healthcare Symposium in San Francisco.

Our Process

Anyone whose quality of life has been diminished by their pain will benefit from working with Allies for Change. Here at Allies, we look at healing from pain as a process of change. This process is depicted here in the Change Model diagram at the top.

When our clients come for their first visit, we believe they have made a conscious decision to change the way pain has been affecting their lives. We guide them around the Change Model looking at all of the reasons they have not been able to heal.

We take them through an in-depth evaluation process that includes a lifestyle assessment and a thorough musculoskeletal evaluation. This enables us to understand the lifestyle habits and adaptive movement patterns that have developed as a result of their pain and now contribute significantly to the pain pattern.

Taking small steps, we guide them through the three levels of healing the musculoskeletal system:

Level 1: Reducing the pain and quieting the nervous system
Level 2: Balancing and aligning the musculoskeletal system
Level 3: Strengthening and conditioning the nervous and musculoskeletal system
We help or clients understand the value of Ally Support. We then work them to establish a collaborative treatment team.

Finally, we then provide short and long-term Ally Support to help develop and implement the needed lifestyle changes that result in decreased pain, increased quality of life and true healing.

Suffering from chronic pain makes every day living difficult. It takes a toll on both your body and your mind and many people begin to feel that their life will always be controlled by pain. Chronic pain makes it difficult to work, have relationships, and build self-confidence. Often people become depressed, hopeless and fearful. Both depression and anxiety can increase pain. Your mind, body and spirit become fragmented. Eventually there are multiple layers of factors contributing to physical pain. For this reason, we view chronic pain more as a Prolonged Pain Complex.

Most people suffering from Prolonged Pain Complex are not aware of these multiple layers and their lives have become so constricted that they begin to feel like hostages to their pain. Needs, hopes and desires that might not be related to pain get buried under the preoccupation with the multiple layers of physical distress.

Although healing from Prolonged Pain Complex is a difficult process, our experience has shown us that recovery is possible and one’s life does not need to be controlled by pain. Our treatment model is specific, individualized and transformative. Your mind, body and spirit will once again become integrated and your quality of life will improve dramatically.

Following is a framework of treatment methodology:
1. Create an atmosphere of validation, hope and healing.
2. Quiet the neuromuscular system and reduce physical pain.
3. Assess and treat the impact of prolonged pain complex on the body’s soft tissue system.
4. Provide education in the proper use of pain medication.
5. Provide training in non-medication pain management.
6. Develop self-awareness around the relationship between stress, anxiety, fear and pain.
7. Develop healthy Lifeskills around self-care and coping designed specifically for pain reduction and healthy living.
8. Educate families so they more fully understand the impact of these complex pain conditions on themselves and their loved ones.

At Allies for Change, we strongly believe that the relationship between patient and practitioner can be healing in and of itself. To that end we strive to create a system of support whereby each patient has a team of “Allies” working with them to facilitate their healing and growth.

Lifeskills Development

We are not born with Lifeskills, nor do we learn them in school. We need to have them modeled for us as we develop from children to adults. Often this process of modeling healthy Lifeskills is lacking.

It is, of course, never too late to develop healthy Lifeskills. But they are not necessarily something you can teach yourself. Yes, some skills are accessible and self-taught through reflection and becoming more self aware, but often the practical skills are best learned through support, collaboration and having someone simply show you. Developing healthy Lifeskills may take the stimulation and support of another person, an ally. This person could be a professional, a friend, a family member, but they must possess certain qualities. They must be non-judgmental, non shaming, safe, have good self awareness, accept you exactly where you are, be respectful and be collaborative. We are in the business of Ally Support and helping individuals develop lifeskills.

Well developed Lifeskills translate into:
• A competency level in basic life management
• An ability to positively affect the world around us
• An ability to act on the world, not react (make poor decisions)
• Healthy self esteem and confidence

The absence of healthy Lifeskills can:
• Be a barrier to healing form pain
• Be a powerful trigger for relapse

Some examples of Healthy Lifeskills might be:
• Self-care
• Self soothing
• Effective Communication
• Relationship Building
• Money Management (understanding how money works)
• Organizing Strategies
• Problem Solving
• Creating healthy living environment
• Meal planning, grocery shopping, meal preparation
• Time Management

If you look back at the change model, you will see that a foundational piece is something we call Ally Support. It is our experience that to overcome the barriers to change and move on to healing from pain, this kind of support can be lifesaving.

The Ally Support relationship we create with our clients is vitally important and it begins with the first contact…even if that is by phone. In order to create and sustain positive behavioral change (healing from pain), an individual must have this kind of empowering support. They must feel emotionally safe enough to show their authentic selves.

The Ally Support Model has the following very specific communication characteristics:
• It is validating: an individual feels seen, heard and believed)
• It is not shaming or judgmental.
• It guides rather than lectures.
• It inherently models behavior rather than preaching.
• It is a style of communication that includes listening without fixing.
• It has a clear quality of consistency.
• It is supportive rather than telling people what they should do.
• It empowers others to discover their inner truths.
• It invites interaction and collaboration with others.

I know that when an individual is held within this particular relationship model, they get stronger, more resourceful and have higher self esteem. Then, the door is open for true healing to take place.

Once our clients fully understand the power of Ally Support, we encourage them to seek it out in all of their relationships including their other medical and health care practitioners.

Collaboration among a network of informed practitioners is essential to the healing process. The collaboration process is good medicine for anyone with a complex condition. Once an individual is experiencing all of the symptoms identified under the Prolonged Pain Complex, it becomes almost impossible for one person to provide effective treatment. At Allies for Change, we have access to a wide network of other health professionals such as psychotherapists, psychiatrists, medical doctors and more. These practitioners are aligned with our model of care and can therefore join with us in creating the individualized treatment plans that are so effective in supporting our clients in recovering their lives.
*As team leader and with the client’s permission, I either build a network around an individual or utilize the one they already have by connecting everyone and supporting this collaborative communication”.