How often have you said, “This pain will never go away?” Persistent negative beliefs can maintain and amplify pain. Cognitive-Behavioral therapy (CBT) is a short-term, goal oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on approach to therapy, and can have remarkable results.. It helps patients cope with pain, and even more. It changes how our brain actually perceives pain.
CBT has been scientifically tested and found effective in hundreds of clinical trials to help treat illnesses such as anxiety and depression. Research supports its beneficial effects on fibromyalgia, back pain, headache, and irritable bowel syndrome. The treatment focuses on problem solving in your present state.
The model behind CBT is simple: the way we perceive pain influences how we feel emotionally. When you are in distress, your perspective might be inaccurate or unrealistic. For example, you may wake up and instantly dread the tasks you have scheduled for that day. CBT helps identify your distressing thoughts and change your distorted thinking into positive, and adaptive thoughts
I recently had Leslie Coggin on my radio show, Aches and Gains, and we discussed how CBT had made her face hard truths about her condition, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. The treatment helped her re-engage a life she had lost, and made her independent once again You can hear her story here (part I) and here (part II).
Sessions in CBT have a structure, with set goals that become the basis for planning the treatment. If you’re looking for a trained therapist to help with this kind of treatment, I urge you to consult the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists.