Chronic Pain

Psychological Treatments for Chronic Pain Management

Chronic pain is more than a purely physical sensation. It is the result of physiological, emotional and psychosocial factors all of which interact in a dynamic (complex) way to create the pain experience.  Addressing the psychological aspects of chronic pain which can include sadness, anxiety, anger and hopelessness, is an essential component of successful pain management and can reduce the intensity of pain.  In some instances psychological treatments can be as effective as injections and other medical treatments in alleviating pain just by changing the ways your brain processes pain sensations.

Finally, studies have shown that your beliefs about pain treatments significantly impact whether of nor you will benefit from those treatments.

Treatment Plans

  • Evaluate and improve your coping skills, learning to avoid catastrophizing and adopting a realistic hopeful approach  in order to manage pain without  using avoidance and other problematic behaviors.
  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)  to  reduce emotional distress, functional disability by  uncoupling of physical and psychological aspects of pain; teaches “nonstriving” responses to pain through experiential meditations and daily mindfulness practice intended to increase awareness of the body and proprioceptive signals, awareness of the breath, and development of mindful activities
  • Cognitive Therapy: explore your thoughts and  beliefs about pain and maintaining good health. Protocols involve psychoeducation about pain, behavior, and mood, strategies for relaxation, behavioral pacing, behavioral activation, positive event scheduling, effective communication, and cognitive restructuring for distorted and maladaptive thoughts about pain
  • Lifestyle coaching ; individualized wellness program that boosts energy, mood and motivation
  • Sleep hygiene ; promoting healthier sleep patterns
  • Self management;  providing you with tools to soothe yourself
  •  Yogic breathing.  targeting stress as a risk factor for illnesses and chronic pain  to significantly reduce  levels of anxiety, depression and stress, also increasing optimism
  • motivational interviewing (MI)  to improve cognitive and emotional coping with pain

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