What We Do
Chronic pain is defined as pain which persists beyond the duration of 3 months, and is typically persistent and intense in nature without effective treatment. Approximately 1 in 5 Australians live with chronic pain, and there are various causes of pain such as injury, inflammation due to arthritis and other conditions, and nerve damage. Chronic pain is strongly associated with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety due to factors including the intensity and persistent nature of pain.
What it includes
Chronic pain management often involves various treatments including physical treatment, medication, nerve block, and in some cases, surgery. It is also important to address any psychological or social factors associated with pain. Psychological factors may include symptoms of depression or anxiety, stress, maladaptive thinking, negative emotions, and loss of confidence. Social factors may include relationship issues, social isolation, and difficulty fulfilling daily tasks such as work related tasks or household tasks.
How a Clinical Psychologist Can Help
A psychologist can help you to understand your pain including the psychological impact of pain and triggers for increased pain, address any maladaptive thoughts ie. “I have no control over my life anymore”, manage any negative associated emotions such as sadness and fear, problem solve around the physical limits associated with pain, and provide you with the necessary tools to self-manage your pain. Your psychologist will work collaboratively with you to achieve an optimal quality of life despite the pain. Your psychologist may use various evidence-based therapies to assist you with your treatment goals including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
Chronic Pain Association of Australia (2016). http://www.chronicpainaustralia.org.au/
Gatchel, R. J. (2004). Comorbidity of chronic pain and mental health disorders: the biopsychosocial perspective. American Psychologist, 59(8), 795.
The Australian Pain Management Association (2015). What is chronic pain, https://www.painmanagement.org.au/pain
If you require additional information, please call our office on 07 3256 6320. Our mental health focused reception staff will be only too happy to assist you with your enquiry about our service and can suggest the most suitable Psychologist for your concern.