Most injuries heal quickly and pain associated with them goes away within a few weeks. When pain becomes chronic it is common for people to experience frustration, fear, anger, depression and worry. It is also common for people to avoid activities that are expected to increase pain or cause further injury.
As pain continues and individuals gradually lose physical fitness and are unable to participate in normal work or recreational activities, it is common for hopelessness and worsening depression to occur.
The Benefits of Pain Psychology
Seeing a pain psychologist does not mean that anyone thinks the pain is not real. In fact, pain always involves psychological factors such as focus of attention, beliefs and expectations, pain-related fears, and effects on relationships with others.
Pain psychologists help those suffering from chronic pain to cope in more positive ways.
- They teach cognitive and behavioral coping skills for managing fear, depression, anger and other emotional consequences of pain.
- They also help patients understand pain and how it can be influenced by psychosocial factors.
- They teach patients psychological strategies for pain control.
- Pain psychologists also help family members understand chronic pain, and they help resolve negative changes that often occur in relationships because of chronic pain.
Pain Psychology at RIW
Pain psychologists at RIW routinely work with those participating in the pain management program. They are also available to evaluate and treat other individuals who may benefit from pain psychology services.
To make a referral, please contact our office at (206) 859-5030, or visit our referrals page.