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Psychological therapy

This has an important role in the management of Chronic Pain. Many patients develop low mood, become anxious about their situation and avoid those activities which exacerbate their symptoms. Such a cycle may result in distress, suffering and physical disability.

Psychological therapy differs from other pain therapies in that pain relief is not the primary goal. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) uses stress reduction, relaxation techniques and pacing of activities to reduce the impact of Chronic Pain. A graded return to normal daily activities and physical reconditioning is undertaken. 

CBT includes a variety of approaches and therapeutic systems looking at events, thoughts and behaviours, evaluating beliefs that might be unhelpful and unrealistic ideas, and gradually facing activities which may have been avoided with new ways of behaving and reacting. Relaxation, mindfulness and distraction techniques are often helpful.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is often used in conjunction with medications to treat mood changes. Going through CBT is generally not an overnight process and in some cases takes considerable time or effort to replace a dysfunctional cognitive-affective-behavioral process. 

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