In this article, we will discuss CBT (Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy) in Pain Management. So, let’s get started.
CBT in Pain Management
Cognitive-behavioural therapy has been shown to be effective in patients who suffer from either continuous or chronic pain. Therapists are quite active in teaching a variety of skills to the chronic pain patient and assign homework to ensure that the lessons learned are solidified. Negative, inappropriate, catastrophic thoughts are often present in patients with pain disorders. Such thoughts are highly correlated to the intensity of pain complaints. CBT focuses on restructuring this negative cognitive
schema into a more realistic appraisal of the patient’s current condition. When a realistic perspective regarding the past, present and future can be gained, patients may be able to more easily deal with their pain. Understanding the automatic thoughts that are present in pain patients is a major goal of cognitive-behavioral therapy. When pain worsens, automatic thoughts such as, “This pain has never been as bad as this” or “I’m getting much worse” may occur. These thoughts often lead to more physical and psychological distress. Helping the patient to recognize when an automatic thought is generated is necessary first, and then the patient needs to learn to rationally dispute his or her catastrophic cognitions.