People often think of pain as a purely physical sensation. However, pain has biological, psychological and emotional factors. Furthermore, chronic pain can cause feelings such as anger, hopelessness, sadness, and anxiety. To treat pain effectively, you must address the physical, emotional and psychological aspects.
Medical treatments, including medication, surgery, rehabilitation and physical therapy, may be helpful for treating chronic pain, but psychological treatments are also an important part of pain management. Understanding and managing the thoughts, emotions and behaviors that accompany the discomfort can help you cope more effectively with your pain, and can actually reduce the intensity of your pain.
Our registered psychologists are experts in helping people cope with the thoughts, feelings and behaviors that accompany chronic pain. In serious cases, we may collaborate with other health care professionals to address both the physical and emotional aspects of the patient's pain. We conduct both individual and group therapy sessions.
Studies have found that psychotherapy can be fundamental to a patient’s pain relief, as psychological treatments for pain can alter how the brain processes pain sensations.
Our psychologists can also help you make lifestyle changes that will allow you to continue participating in work and recreational activities. And because pain often contributes to insomnia, we may also help you learn new ways to improve your sleeping patterns.
Sufferers of chronic pain may also develop other negative stressors to deal with, such as: losing a job, experiencing financial hardship, and having increased stress upon relationships and families. Sufferers also may have to contend with unpleasant side effects. Sufferers of chronic pain may also find their participation in activities that they enjoyed, such as hobbies, crafts, or sports has been greatly reduced. These negative factors further contribute to patients’ psychological as well as physical suffering.
At HD Psychologists, we can assist sufferers to develop pain management skills, reduce muscle tension using relaxation techniques, and alleviate depressive mood and thought patterns using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
The goal is to help you develop skills to cope with your pain and live your life normally.
This Buddhist monk who set himself on fire in protest demonstrated the effect of pain management, and that while pain is physical, it can be controlled, psychologically.