What types of psychological treatments are available for chronic pain treatment?
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), emotionally focused therapy (EFT), somatic experiencing psychotherapy (SE), and psychodynamic psychotherapy (PDT) have shown effectiveness in treating chronic pain populations. These modalities can be provided in the settings of individual therapy, group therapy, and family and couples therapy. Furthermore, behavioral treatments such as biofeedback, hypnosis, meditation, neurofeedback, and relaxation therapy have been shown to be useful aspects of mental health care for pain patients. Many therapies may be augmented, having the patient participate in exercises organized around engaging in artwork, creative writing and music appreciation, as well as a wide variety of other modalities that are directed at the promotion of emotional expression and self-regulation. It is important to tie the therapy choice to the patient’s presentation and establish a good fit based on the patient’s capacities.