how a psychologist can help with pain

How a Psychologist can Help with Physical Pain

Everyone experiences some sort of pain in their lives at one time or another. From the accidental scratch, a headache, or maybe a diagnosed medical condition. When pain sets in it can be difficult to think of anything else. The human body creates pain as a means to protect us. It allows us to receive warnings in our body that signal danger. So, what happens when this pain does not go away?

Chronic pain is pain that continues for more than six months, at which point you may have considered seeing a GP or specialist such as a physiotherapist. But what you may not have considered is how a psychologist could be the answer to your pain management. This article shows you how a psychologist can help with physical pain.


The Connection Between Pain and Emotion

A General Practitioner will work to help alleviate the pain symptoms or refer to a specialist depending on the pain. A counsellor and psychologist can help build coping strategies and techniques to help manage the pain but will also dig a little deeper and work with emotion that may also be experienced and connected.

According to Harvard Health,

“Pain, depression, and anxiety travel through similar pathways along your nervous system and share many of the same biological mechanisms. One of the areas in the brain that receives pain signals — specifically, the limbic region — shares many of the same messengers as the mood signals. We know from research studies using neuroimaging that the parts of the brain controlling emotion and sensory features of pain are altered in people with chronic pain.

The connection between pain and emotion can also be seen with certain classes of medications. For example, some medications used to treat pain can cause side effects like euphoria, and medications originally developed for psychiatric conditions can be effective treatments for certain types of pain.

The medical community has come to appreciate a direct correlation between improvement in one’s emotional well-being and their experience of pain (and vice versa). Chronic pain increases the risk of depression and anxiety, and depression and anxiety strongly predict the development of chronic pain. This association is seen in conditions like fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome, where behavioural and psychological treatment strategies have shown benefit in reducing symptoms.”


What Might a Psychologist Address?


Agony catastrophizing

This is the point at which you amplify the adverse consequences of torment and focus on sensations of weakness while ruminating about the presence of torment in your life. Negative musings and convictions about torment regularly lead to demolished enthusiastic and social working and a diminished reaction to clinical mediations for torment.

Dread of agony

Concern or stress over a physical issue drives avoidant or defensive practices. The expectation of an expanded vibe of agony may restrict you from taking part in actual work or going to social trips. Torment avoidant practices can prompt physical deconditioning and further diminished personal satisfaction.

Agony acknowledgment or Acceptance

This is a difficult, yet profoundly powerful procedure zeroed in on fostering a tolerant demeanour towards the torment. It includes giving a valiant effort to nonjudgmentally recognise the presence of torment and limit pointless contemplations and practices that will not improve torment.


The connection between earlier trauma or and persistent torment is getting better comprehended. Mental treatments can address progressing physical and psychological related pain, and stress linked to trauma.


What Therapies Might be Used?


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Talk treatment that assists with changing your contemplations and practices identified with torment and improve adapting techniques. You can learn CBT strategies with a clinician one on one or often in a group setting, which can also offer outside or social support as well.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)

A type of intervention where you figure out how to nonjudgmentally get mindful of your contemplations and sentiments and acknowledge torment and other awkward sensations as neither positive nor negative.

Clinical Hypnotherapy (hypno-absence of pain)

A range of strategies planned to adjust your musings, sentiments and practices by means of subliminal ideas pointed toward modifying your experience of torment. Hypno-absence of pain varies from CBT, which is a cognisant acknowledgment of your feelings identified with torment and a more self-coordinated, activity situated methodology.


If you or someone you know may be struggling with pain or chronic pain, talk to a psychologist today to find out how they can help. Book Appointment – Client Bookings Power Diary



Salim Zerriny, M., & David Boyce, M. (2019, August 14). I’m in pain, so why is my doctor suggesting a psychologist? Retrieved June 4, 2021, from