Pain management is evolving as doctors begin to fully understand the risks of pain medication and other invasive treatments. New research has shown that talk therapy, specifically Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), can actually be of tremendous help to people suffering from chronic pain (source: apa.org). Without professional help, chronic pain sufferers have a higher likelihood of missing work or losing employment, becoming depressed, and developing a substance abuse problem.
How can therapy help?
Pain is a complicated sensation that is all-too-real to those who are feeling it. Therefore, a good therapist will never tell a person suffering from chronic pain that it’s “simply all in their head.” Besides the physiological aspect, pain—especially the chronic type—does include an emotional and psychological component. Therapy can help adjust these aspects without denying that the pain exists. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in particular has had success in helping people learn to understand the thoughts and behaviors associated with pain, and cope accordingly. With commitment, work, and time, talk therapy can actually reduce the intensity of the pain itself (source: apa.org).