Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Right for You?
Do you suffer from chronic pain? Have you tried many different types of chronic pain treatments and not found the relief you were hoping for? You might consider trying cognitive behavioral therapy. Talk therapy may seem silly for pain relief when your pain is in your body, but many pain management doctors recommend this type of therapy and it’s often used as a part of in and outpatient pain management treatment plans.
So, is it right for you? Read on to see if it sounds like something you’d like to try. One of the main benefits of this type of therapy is that it comes with no negative side effects. That’s a rare find in the world of chronic pain management.
How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?
This type of therapy uses a mind over matter approach to pain relief. While validating that a person’s pain is real, it teaches them that their ingrained thoughts may play a role in keeping them in pain. It teaches them to change negative thoughts and beliefs and uses many types of coping mechanisms to help them function better despite their pain.
While the main point of CBT for pain management is to help people learn to cope with their pain, it has the power to potentially alter the stress chemicals in the brain that help perpetuate pain. When the body is in pain, the brain releases stress chemicals like norepinephrine, which causes the body to tense. This creates new pain or worsens existing pain.
How Effective is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
For many chronic pain patients, CBT is very effective. The process, when followed as instructed by a therapist or even a text, can help chronic pain sufferers learn about how their thoughts affect their pain, change their thought patterns in regards to their pain, and ultimately change their core beliefs about pain. This, when the skills and coping mechanisms learned in CBT are practiced over the course of time, even after therapy has ended, helps patients feel healthier. Those body positive thoughts can make you physically healthier, as well.