Isn't the talk of counseling and stuff for chronic pain just reinforcing that the pain is all in my head?
When a patient with chronic pain is referred for counseling or participates in group sessions, this is in no way a sign that the pain is not real. In fact, the sessions are helping people learn how to cope with their pain and perhaps find ways to lessen the pain.
For example, someone who is very stressed and under a lot of pressure may feel more pain than someone who has learned to manage the stress so that it doesn't affect the body physically. If your back is painful and lack of exercise is contributing to the pain, counseling may help you learn how to overcome the fear of exercising.
More and more, counseling is becoming an integral part of pain management.
Thomas P. Guck, PhD, et al. Attributions Regarding Unmet Treatment Goals After Interdisciplinary Chronic Pain Rehabilitation. In Clinical Journal of Pain. June 2008. Vol. 24. No. 5. Pp. 415-420.