Chronic pain can be debilitating. While medication may provide temporary relief, it doesn’t offer a long-term solution. However, multiple studies of CBT have found that rewiring our thinking can promote resilience and has a profoundly positive impact on how we manage pain.
As we go about our day, a constant stream of thoughts flows through our mind. For better or worse, humans’ natural survival instinct drives our mind to focus on potential threats. This may have been useful back when we were hunter gatherers. For the average, modern-day office worker, focusing on negative sensations is counter-productive and only makes problems worse.
In general, the human mind follows learned thinking patterns. In the simplest terms, a trigger situation creates a habitual response. If we wake up in the morning aware of a feeling of pain, then our automatic response may fixate on how the pain is going to ruin our day.
This type of negative thinking pattern create an internal battle between how our life ‘should’ be and the reality. In the case of chronic pain, negativity reinforces the sensation and almost trains the body to expect pain for the rest of the day. The combined effect creates a downward spiral of negativity which also impacts mental health.
CBT identifies our unique, habitual responses to negative sensations such as pain. Once these thoughts have been identified we can learn to replace them with more helpful ones.
In the case of chronic pain it may be beneficial to promote feelings of acceptance. This process may sound complicated and unfamiliar. It’s about breaking down thinking patterns and exploring them in detail.
Consequently, we can learn to reframe our thinking to generate a greater sense of acceptance. Similarly, as our mind projects us forward to worry about the future, mindfulness techniques can help pulling thoughts back to the here and now. CBT prompts thinking to be mindful, to focus on the present without worry about the future.
Rewiring the brain
The positive effects of CBT are well documented in clinical trials. It is a powerful technique which trains the brain to challenge and change habitual responses. CBT has an incredibly powerful effect, not only lifting our mood, but improving resilience both mentally and physically.
Consolidating new learning
You wouldn’t give a presentation without preparation. Likewise, you don’t want leave the therapy session without implementing new thinking patterns. Hypnotherapy can accelerate the adoption of new thinking patterns. It also consolidates the learnings from therapy sessions. Under hypnosis you experience and rehearse how to put CBT techniques into practice in your daily life.
In conclusion, hypnotherapy ensures that learning moves from the theoretical to the practical. It enables the implementation of new, helpful thoughts, emotions and behaviours. So, CBT Hypnotherapy transforms the way we deal with pain, not by changing physical symptoms, but buy changing the sufferers’ reactions.
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