Patient Information Resources

Centre for Orthopaedics
Suite 10-33/34/35 Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
38 Irrawaddy Road
Singapore, 329563, Singapore
Ph: (65) 6684 5828
Fax: (65) 6684 5829

Child Orthopedics
Pain Management
Spine - Cervical
Spine - General
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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My partner was in a cognitive behavioral program to help her cope with a chronic pain condition. She did great until the program ended. Now she seems to be slipping back into her old ways of thinking and acting. How can I help encourage her to get back on track?

Family and social support is very important for anyone coping with chronic pain. The fact that she has participated in a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) program is a definite advantage. This means she has been introduced to coping strategies and ways to change how she thinks about her pain.

CBT often includes education about pain and how chronic pain affects us. The therapist helps patients challenge the way they think, feel, and act. Maladaptive patterns and negative thoughts are replaced with positive statements and actions. Coping skills like methods of problem solving and ways to express thoughts and feelings are usually part of the CBT program.

It's not uncommon for patients who have completed a series of CBT sessions to have a relapse of their symptoms. Daily follow-up, self-monitoring, and practice are needed to maintain the benefits of this program.

It might help if she goes back for one or two extra CBT sessions to review and practice what she has learned. It may be helpful if you went with her. Having a close friend, family member, or partner learn the program can be very useful.

Many CBT therapists encourage their clients to keep a daily pain-journal. This helps them see unhealthy patterns starting to repeat themselves. Seeing the connection between life events, stress, and pain can be another helpful tool for managing pain and monitoring progress.


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