We understand that pain can affect every area of your life, including your mood, outlook on the future, family relationships, and involvement in valued activities. The role of our psychologists is to help patients cope with the stressful nature of chronic pain. Clinical psychologists with special training in pain psychology are important members of the Pain Medicine Team. The psychologists are involved in the evaluation and treatment of patients in the outpatient pain management program. Psychologists participate in the initial evaluation of new patients, and provide counseling as needed to strengthen coping and reduce distress.
The most well respected pain management programs throughout the country include psychologists on the pain management team. Some patients worry that the role of the psychologist is to see if a patient's pain is real or not; we can strongly state that we believe all pain is real; therefore, helping each patient to cope as effectively as possible is a central feature of our commitment to quality care. Our psychologists may provide educational and counseling services to both patients and family members.
Your pain psychologist will help you:
- Increase effective stress management, self-care and relaxation skills
- Improve coping strategies for daily living
- Find more acceptance and flexibility in coping with your pain
- Increase your quality of life and personal wellness
- Decrease emotional distress and prevent depression
- Overcome the anxiety associated with participating in exercise and physical activity
- Increase social and family support
- Communicate your feeling and needs to others