Types of Psychotherapy That Can Help With Your Pain

Many people suffer from chronic pain, and addiction to painkillers is all too common in the United States. The American healthcare system lacks sufficient services for addiction and pain management. Even people who don't become addicted to painkillers may have trouble coping with the fact that they have to live with pain every day. In a report released on June 10, one psychology information service offered tips on how a person can find the right type of psychotherapy. Some types of psychotherapy are better for coping with pain than others, and it's important to know what type of therapy a professional practices before scheduling an initial consultation. Here are some of the types of psychotherapy that may help you cope with your chronic pain.

What Psychotherapy Is

Psychotherapy is also referred to as talk therapy. The name comes from two Greek words. Therapeia means healing, and psykh? refers to the mind, spirit and reason. When you go to therapy, you meet with a licensed and trained mental healthcare professional. They may be a social worker, counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist. A psychiatrist is also a medical doctor, and they can prescribe antidepressant or anti-anxiety medications as well as request hospitalization, laboratory tests and procedures. Other types of mental health professionals don't have the ability to prescribe medication and don't have admitting privileges in hospitals.

When a person starts psychotherapy, they may have one session or many sessions. For those who will have many sessions, a typical frequency is once per week for a few months. If a person shows improvement, they may decrease the frequency of their visits. Some people cease going to therapy if they have a specific issue they need help with. For example, an athlete who broke their leg may stop going to therapy after they're fully recuperated.

Other people may need ongoing or even lifelong psychotherapy. For example, a person who has an anxiety disorder may need to go to therapy for two years, then they may do well for a while and take a break as their life is manageable. If a new stressor or major life change happens, they might need to see a therapist again. Some people have an occasional maintenance session with their therapist. This is to keep tabs on conditions and to ensure mental wellness and healthy coping skills throughout life.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy

Interpersonal psychotherapy is focused on the treatment of depression. It's also used for resolving interpersonal conflicts and managing stress. A person would benefit from this therapy if they become depressed after the passing of a loved one or if they have ongoing problems with their sibling or significant other.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, identifies thought patterns and beliefs that negatively impact your life. For example, if you're anxious all the time because you constantly think of the worst-case scenario for every situation, a CBT psychotherapist will help you change those thought patterns. CBT also includes stress management, coping and problem-solving skills.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Dialectical behavioral therapy is a sub-type of CBT. It focuses on the conflict between two situations or the issue of two opposing forces. For example, sometimes it's raining and sunny at the same time. This type of therapy helps you see how two different things can be valid at the same time.

Psychoanalytical Therapy

If your immediate thought of psychotherapy is a person laying on a couch and releasing all their thoughts, this is psychoanalytical therapy. It's a long-term treatment that will last for many years. A person in this therapy will have one to four sessions per week. This therapy usually focuses on childhood issues that are still unresolved.

Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychdynamic therapy looks at unconscious processes from past relationships. It's a short-term version of psychoanalysis. Most people who choose this therapy will have sessions once or twice per week for about six months. This therapy is for anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other mental health conditions.

Humanistic Therapy

This is a newer modality of psychotherapy. It focuses on your unique traits as a person. The goal of this therapy is to help you become more aware of and accepting of yourself. This type of therapy is beneficial to anyone who has experienced trauma, low self-esteem, relationship conflicts or existential depression.

Eclectic Therapy

Eclectic therapy is a mix of other types. It draws techniques from two or more of the other therapy modalities.

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