Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) intervention is designed to:

  1. Decrease maladaptive coping skills such as catastrophizing
  2. Enhance patients' ability to use attention diversion and changes in activity to control and decrease pain by increasing their use of potentially adaptive strategies.

Our clinic focuses heavily on the following three modalities:

  • Changing Cognitions: Cognitive-restructuring was used to help patients recognize the relationships between thoughts, feelings and behavior.These techniques teach to identify irrational, maladaptive thoughts and to replace these with alternative, rational coping thoughts.
  • Attention Diversion Methods: Patients were trained in three attention diversion methods: relaxation, imagery, and distraction. All group participants received CDs or audio tapes with four different types of relaxation techniques to take home and practice daily.
  • Controlling Pain by Changing Activity Patterns: Activity-rest cycling and pleasant activity scheduling were used to reduce pain and enable patients to pace and increase their activity level.

Research has found that cognitive behavioral methods help patients not only to practice positive lifestyle choices but also control and often decrease their pain.