Psychological Treatment Services

Pain Management

All pain involves both physical and psychological factors. Acute pain is mostly physical in nature, but chronic pain has a significant psychological component. The treatment of chronic pain should include both medical and psychological interventions.

Chronic pain can be present because your body is not healing, or because physical damage is ongoing. This is true in arthritis, cancer, many traumatic injuries, and some chronic illnesses. Additionally, chronic pain sometimes continues without a clear physical cause. Emotional symptoms usually develop when medical treatment does not eliminate the pain. Some conditions, because they are terminal, or because they are likely to result in significant disability, may also evoke additional pain because of the emotional components of the illness or injury. 

Psychological treatment for chronic pain should supplement medical care, not replace it. Emotional stress can actually increase the intensity of the pain, but the presence of emotional factors does not mean that the pain is imaginary. Psychological treatment goals are designed to help you learn how to predict and manage the pain cycle, how to use coping skills to minimize pain, and how to maximize active involvement in positive life experiences, despite the presence of chronic pain.

Additionally, psychological treatment for chronic pain focuses on the emotional toll you experience living with pain on a daily basis. Secondary factors, such as disability, financial stress, or loss of work are also seen as part of the pain package, and psychological treatment is designed to address all relevant issues. The treatment for chronic pain does not include some secret special process, rather, it is a combination of psychological treatment techniques designed to address all the factors present in chronic pain.


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