Effectively treating chronic pain requires a multidisciplinary team. Mental health professionals can help address the underlying neurobiological changes that accompany chronic pain, as well as the social and emotional challenges. Working with these experts, you’ll learn to reduce and manage your chronic pain and regain control of your life. Individuals who take proactive steps toward managing their pain often find relief regardless of the root cause.
HOW CAN PSYCHOLOGY
HELP WITH PAIN MANAGEMENT?
Psychological factors play a large role in pain management. Psychological approaches have been shown, in numerous studies, to help people with pain improve the quality of their lives. In particular, it has been shown that patients who work with a psychologist increase functioning in many life domains, such as activities of daily living, emotional health, and interpersonal relationships, and result in decreased pain symptoms. Following psychological treatment, patients often report that they are more active, less depressed, less anxious, and feel more in control. It has also been shown that psychotherapy can reduce health care utilization and help patients adhere to treatment recommendations.
DEPARTMENT CONTACT DETAILS: Phone: 343-266-7277 / Fax: 866-277-0816
Making a decision to see a psychologist can be a difficult one. Many people feel uncomfortable about the prospect of talking about things that are distressing or even embarrassing to a complete stranger. On the other hand, people often find it much easier to tell their problems to someone they do not know and who has no expectations of them. It is important that you find the best approach for you, and the initial evaluation will provide you with an opportunity to determine if you could benefit from psychotherapy.
COULD I BENEFIT
Normal but emotionally painful reactions/distress (such as depression, anxiety, anger/hostility, decreased sense of self-worth, stress) that have occurred as a result of pain condition.
Behavioural or emotional obstacles to making recommended lifestyle changes (difficulty adhering to treatment plans, lack of motivation, pain beliefs, pain- related anxiety and avoidance).
Preexisting emotional/psychological issues that worsen the experience of physical symptoms.
Sleep disturbances (difficulty falling asleep or having trouble staying asleep throughout the night)
The following list is by no means exhaustive, but these are some common reasons why people see a psychologist:
You can expect an initial 50-minute psychological assessment. This session will include obtaining information about the presenting problem, a psychosocial history, and may also include the completion of assessment measures. You will be provided with feedback from the assessment and recommendations will be made. Should you be interested in pursuing psychological services at the initial appointment, therapeutic goals will be set with Dr. Marchand at the outset of therapy. Dr. Marchand uses an integrated approach and tailors psychotherapy to the needs of the patient. She draws from empirically-supported treatment modalities including Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
WHAT IS COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY?
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT
IN INDIVIDUAL THERAPY?
Whether you’ve lived with chronic pain for a few months or many years, it’s not easy to change habits and thought patterns shaped by pain. Sufferers can learn powerful mental strategies that help diminish pain perception, change negative thinking, and improve life. An experienced counselor can help you break harmful thinking patterns. For example, some individuals believe, “My pain doesn’t allow me to do what I once enjoyed, so I have nothing to offer.” This depressive self-talk can intensify your pain because you feel as though your life is controlled by your illness. Through cognitive behavior therapy, you can learn to interrupt negative thinking, identify your strengths, and focus on the positive aspects of life. This will help lessen pain.