One of the most common type of counselling used for chronic pain is psychotherapy, or mindfulness and somatic-based approaches, specifically. Psychotherapy aims to increase the individual’s sense of his/her own well-being.
Your therapist may assist you in seeing and trusting that individuals — not outside situations and events — create their own experiences, pain included. And by changing thought, emotion and behavioural responses in reaction to pain, people can change their awareness of pain and develop better coping skills, even if the actual level of pain stays the same.
Somatic and mindfulness therapy can help provide pain relief in a few ways. First, it changes the way people view their pain. It helps to change the thoughts, emotions, and behaviours related to pain, improve coping strategies, and put the discomfort in a better context. You will begin to recognize that the pain interferes less with your quality of life, and therefore you can function better.
To help provide pain relief, therapy:
- Encourages reframing your interpretation of the pain. The worst thing about chronic pain is the sense of learned helplessness, and the belief that all pain is “wrong”. When you feel that you have ways of taking action against the pain, you will feel more in control and able to impact the situation.
- Fosters skills for coping that apply to many situations in your everyday life. You can use the tactics you learn for pain management to help you with other problems you may encounter in the future.