By Deborah Barrett
Prometheus Books, $20.00, 375 pages

As a person living with chronic pain (migraines), I am very familiar with self-help books currently on the market espousing advice and pain management tips. Paintracking: Your Personal Guide to Living Well with Chronic Pain brings a unique perspective and contributions to the genre. Author Deborah Barrett is a sociologist, a psychotherapist and she has her own chronic pain story. She has created a record system that takes only minutes per day to complete. This book serves as a support system and readers learn to track and interpret experiences with pain. Whether recorded by pen and pencil or by using the online tool offered as a companion to the book, life becomes clearer when tracking begins. Self-awareness is the key. The book is divided into three main sections (Paintracking, Pain-Treating and Pain-Living). Barrett discusses how to deal with chronic pain and colleagues, significant others, children and physicians. She objectively addresses the medical approaches to pain management but also looks at alternative treatment methods. Barrett writes with empathy and compassion and her advice is motivating and inspirational. The text is clear and offers hope to those who need it most. Paintracking is a perfect source for chronic pain sufferers, caregivers and health care professionals.

Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin