Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Chronic Pain

painCognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is a widely researched, time limited psycho-therapeutic approach that has shown to be efficacious across many mental and behavioral conditions.  CBT encourages clients to adopt an active, problem solving approach to cope with the many challenges associated with chronic pain. Chronic pain is a condition, not a symptom, that lasts more than 3 months and persists beyond the expected healing time despite medication and other treatments.

Melzack & Wall developed the Gate Control Theory on pain and this has opened the door of understanding how pain can be modulated.  Pain ascends from the pain location and a gate in the brain can be opened and closed and the pain experience can be minimized.  The model suggests pain is a subjective experience that can be influenced by many factors, thoughts, feelings and behaviors.   The Neuromatrix Model of Pain shows the relationship between pain and stress.  The more stressed out we are, the more pain we are in.  This is an important relationship that can used to disrupt the pain-stress cycle.  There are psychological, biological and social components that influence your pain experience and your behavior.

The goals of a Cognitive Behavior Therapy program for Chronic Pain are to change the thoughts and behaviors associated with chronic pain by learning a variety of coping skills that give you a sense of control over the pain and the effects the pain has exerted on your life.  By addressing the negative thought patterns  your mood  improves and the negative impact of the pain is reduced.  It would be ideal to reduce the pain but the focus is on how to reduce pain related suffering.

Pain perception is related to the attention involved in detecting and orienting attention towards the sensory event.  When you pay attention to pain you are holding the gate open.  Distractions, thoughts of control over pain, belief that pain is predictable and manageable will close the gate and reduce the effects pain has on your life.

The Brain Performance Center offers an eight week program that includes education, cognitive restructuring, relaxation training, behavioral activation and relapse prevention.   To learn more about what the program has to offer please schedule a complimentary consultation call today, 817-500-4863.

Leigh