I have come to the understanding that everything we do in life and how we manage people with pain is about attempting to resolve uncertainty. Whether it is PNE or graded exposure, we are attempting to help the person feel safe in the world and more likely to want to explore it, knowing that they are healing when they are not just exploring but allowing themselves to play. Neuroscientist and super dude, Beau Lotto https://youtu.be/hQUgGg9XzbQ makes a great point in his talk “deviate” that play is the time when we happily move into uncertainty and are excited by it. But we have to be able to step from certainty to be able to step into uncertainty.
The world is either full of endless possibilities for play which we approach, or frightening and gives us the feeling of a need for withdrawal. If we can swing the balance enough to play we have equipped the person well to move forward in their life