Psychological Therapies

It is impossible to separate emotions from pain. In fact, the pain centers and emotional centers of the brain share some of the same structures in the brain. It is known that stimulation of certain pain centers also stimulate emotions and vice versa. The psychological and social impact of persistent pain has been extensively studied. Study results have shown persistent pain commonly associated with depression, thoughts of suicide, anxiety, difficulty coping, use of negative coping skills, isolation from others, and problems getting along with others. Fortunately, there is help. Many cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) techniques can be used to change the pain experience through working with a pain psychologist. CBT techniques include biofeedback, relaxation, stress management, controlling attention, positive coping skills, directing attention, meditation, guided imagery, and hypnosis, to name a few. If a pain psychologist referral is recommended, please be assured this does not mean pain is not thought to be real. The mind and emotions often need as much, or even more, care than the physical body.

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