Psychological interventions include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), relaxation therapy, biofeedback, and even hypnosis. CBT is based on the idea that our thoughts influence how we feel, think, and act. By changing how we think, we can positively influence how we feel both physically and emotionally.
Negative and especially negative, unrealistic thoughts cause distress and result in problems. Changing the way we think is done gradually through a series of steps. Patients keep a diary of events and feelings or thoughts. They learn how to see a better way to think through these events. They try out new ways of behaving and reacting.
Through CBT, chronic pain patients learn how to face activities they have been avoiding. Relaxation and distraction techniques are a key tool in this step.
Some patients may benefit from more than one method. Many patients may still need a multimodal treatment plan. This means many different methods of treatment combined together have the best effect.