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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Pain


What is it?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a treatment approach that focuses on teaching people ways to identify and change negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and to replace them with those that are more adaptive, with the ultimate goal being to improve quality of life and reduce psychological distress. CBT is not talk-therapy - it's a skills-based approach that requires active participation by patient and therapist. .  CBT is a form of psychological treatment that has been demonstrated to be effective for a range of problems including chronic pain. 


What are the benefits?

Numerous research studies suggest that CBT leads to significant improvement in functioning and quality of life and reduction in suffering. 

  • CBT treatments have been demonstrated to be effective through clinical research.

  • CBT treatments use a user-friendly language that makes them easy for people to incorporate into their lives.

  • CBT treatments are brief so you will not need to spend years in therapy or thousands of dollars to see results.

  • Once the CBT skills are learned they are yours for life and they can be used in many different situations.


What to expect?

CBT sessions are most effective when they are scheduled in weekly or every other week appointment times. Typically it takes 12 sessions to get the full benefit of the pain CBT program. These sessions are 45-60 min and include:

  1. Pain Evaluation

  2. Education on Chronic Pain

  3. Theories of Pain and Diaphragmatic Breathing

  4. Muscle Relaxation and Imagery

  5. Automatic Thoughts and Pain

  6. Cognitive Restructuring

  7. Stress Management

  8. Time-based Pacing

  9. Pleasant Activity Scheduling 

  10. Anger Management

  11. Sleep Hygiene

  12. Relapse Prevention & Flare-up Planning 

Sessions are tailored to each person and are goal oriented and focused on strategies to help alleviate your suffering. These are active participation session , so please come prepared to be involved and to do "homework" to help reinforce skills learned during the sessions.

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