Psychological management of Pain

        In psychological management the clients are provided with an understanding of the psychological mechanisms of pain. An essential part of the programme is acknowledging and understanding all the factors that influence the handling of pain (family, work etc) and how these can affect pain related thoughts, feelings and ultimately behaviour. As the programme progresses, clients are encouraged to work on accepting the circumstances pertaining to pain so that the desired changes in thinking and behaviour can take place.
 

 

The psychological therapies used include Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). The CBT approach is used to understand the impact of beliefs on emotions and behaviours and it helps in recognizing unhelpful types of thinking (cognitive distortions) that drive behaviour while exploring ways with which these can be changed. CAT plays a role in exploring how earlier life experiences have contributed, not necessarily to the pain itself, but to the experience of pain and in the acquisition of personal beliefs. ACT on the other hand introduces a mindfulness component that is essential in achieving a state of relaxation while being mindful of emotions, behaviours as well as pain.