the most accepted approaches to the psychological issues involving chronic
pain is that of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This is a psychological
treatment that involves active questioning of the current mindset that patients
have about their pain and the effect is has upon their lives.
for CBT can range from specific structured time limited sessions to integration
into an overall treatment plan. The ten to twelve structured treatments are
often quite useful in helping patients to regain control over their lives
and to confront the self-defeating attitudes that have interfered with recovery.
The patient is often given homework assignments between sessions and is asked
to question everything from self-defeating emotions to actual destructive
thought processes. Patients are asked to replace self destructive thinking
and behavior with more positive ways of coping with chronic pain. Often their
is assigned reading to help with establishing guidelines for improvement.
CBT techniques are being integrated into an overall treatment plan, patients
are asked to assess their view of being disabled, in order to develop the
highest level of psychological and physical function. Important here is acceptance
of physical limitations, while becoming as functional as possible. Patient's
must accept disability, while not giving up the things that give meaning and
bring pleasure of life. CBT approaches can be utilized to help patients understand
that being disabled does not necessarily mean that they cannot work, be physically
active and maintain relationships. It helps them to understand the cycles
that lead to depression and anxiety and how to short circuit these processes.
These approaches are used in concert with appropriate use of medications,
routine physical exercise, supportive psychotherapy, vocational rehabilitation,
invasive medical treatments, ergonomic changes and social interventions.