Counseling & Psychotherapy - Southampton, NJ 08088
Counseling & Psychotherapy - Southampton, NJ 08088
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PSYCHOLOGICAL TREATMENT OF CHRONIC PAIN

All pain encompasses both physicial and psychological factors. Acute pain is usually mostly physical in nature, but chronic pain has a significant psychological component. Treatment for the person with chronic pain should consist of both medical and psychological interventions; however, psychological treatment should supplement medical care--not replace it.

For individuals with chronic pain, there is a strong likelihood that, in addition to pain, they are experiencing various levels of emotional distress such as depression, anxiety, anger, helplessness, and hopelessness. Emotional symptoms usually develop when, over time, medical treatments do not eliminate or substantially reduce pain and because the pain is likely to result in significant lifestyle changes or disability. Emotional distress can actually increase the intensity of someone's pain; however, the presence of emotional factors does not mean that the person's pain is imaginary or that he/she cannot "handle" pain.

Psychological treatment goals are designed to help an individual learn how to predict and manage the pain cycle, how to use coping skills to minimize pain, and how to maximize involvement in positive life experiences, despite the presence of chronic pain. Psychological treatment for chronic pain focuses on the emotional toll one experiences living with pain on a daily basis. A major focus of treatment involves assisting individuals in learning how to view themselves as whole and complete individuals apart from pain that has become a central part of their life. Secondary factors, such as functional limitations, lifestyle changes, financial stress, family/social problems, and multiple losses are also seen as part of the pain package.