What can a psychologist do for chronic pain?
A psychologist can help a patient with chronic pain explore and manage the thoughts, behaviours, and emotions that are associated with their pain. This can help the patient in coping more efficiently with their pain and could also reduce its intensity.
What interventions can a psychologist use for a patient with chronic pain?
Psychological interventions for helping a patient manage their chronic pain could include changing unhelpful beliefs about pain, learning relaxation techniques, learning new coping strategies, as well as managing any depression or anxiety that may be accompanying chronic pain. As chronic pain may contribute to patients’ insomnia, a psychologist can also help the patient with strategies to enhance sleep quality.
What does a psychologist do?
A psychologist is a trained mental health professional who can help identify and help a person cope with mental, behavioural, and emotional challenges – whether they are in response to life stressors or part of a mental health disorder. With regards to chronic pain, a psychologist can help change the patient’s perception of pain, which can lead to reduction in its severity.
What psychotherapy approaches do psychologists apply for chronic pain?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is one effective psychotherapy approach that can be used for chronic pain. It helps the patient identify and reframe unhelpful ways of thinking and acting in response to their pain. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is another approach which combines CBT along with mindfulness, and can help the patient to find acceptance for their emotions as well as learn new ways to respond to their pain.