Chronic Pain Therapists in Santa Cruz, CA

Photo of Hasanna Fletcher, LMFT, Marriage & Family Therapist
Hasanna Fletcher
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT
Verified Verified
Santa Cruz, CA 95060  (Online Only)
Twenty-two years ago I cured my own chronic back, neck, shoulder and hip pain using Dr. John Sarno's mindbody approach. Since then I've helped many of my clients avoid unnecessary surgeries and treatments and overcome a broach range of chronic pain conditions. Emotionally induced pain disorders are so epidemic, it is very possible that your pain is not due to a physical cause. But I want to be clear: I'm not saying that it's all in your head! As I know personally, this is real pain. The issue is understanding what causes it and giving you the power to end it.
Twenty-two years ago I cured my own chronic back, neck, shoulder and hip pain using Dr. John Sarno's mindbody approach. Since then I've helped many of my clients avoid unnecessary surgeries and treatments and overcome a broach range of chronic pain conditions. Emotionally induced pain disorders are so epidemic, it is very possible that your pain is not due to a physical cause. But I want to be clear: I'm not saying that it's all in your head! As I know personally, this is real pain. The issue is understanding what causes it and giving you the power to end it.
(831) 272-4949 View (831) 272-4949
Photo of Erin Liana Johnson, MA, LPCC, Counselor
Erin Liana Johnson
Counselor, MA, LPCC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
If you have been living with chronic pain or illness your relationship to your physicality may currently feel jarred, broken, or thrown off course. You may be grieving the life you thought you would have, or feeling weighed down by addressing day to day challenges. If you are seeking to repair your relationship between yourself and your body, gain new coping skills, and challenge current paradigms, I would be a great fit for you!
If you have been living with chronic pain or illness your relationship to your physicality may currently feel jarred, broken, or thrown off course. You may be grieving the life you thought you would have, or feeling weighed down by addressing day to day challenges. If you are seeking to repair your relationship between yourself and your body, gain new coping skills, and challenge current paradigms, I would be a great fit for you!
(831) 215-4138 View (831) 215-4138
Photo of Dr. Kristine Pickwith, PsyD, Psychologist
Dr. Kristine Pickwith
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Are you feeling isolated from those around you because they can't simply understand the pain and frustration of managing your chronic illness? Do you find yourself lost in your grief with the reality of life without your loved one? If you're seeking empathy, support, and a safe space to make sense of these profound emotions, you've come to the right place. Together, we'll explore your thoughts and emotions, develop coping skills, and foster resilience to face life's difficulties.
Are you feeling isolated from those around you because they can't simply understand the pain and frustration of managing your chronic illness? Do you find yourself lost in your grief with the reality of life without your loved one? If you're seeking empathy, support, and a safe space to make sense of these profound emotions, you've come to the right place. Together, we'll explore your thoughts and emotions, develop coping skills, and foster resilience to face life's difficulties.
(424) 365-8861 View (424) 365-8861
Photo of Jillian Chesley, LMFT, Marriage & Family Therapist
Jillian Chesley
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
mental illness -The mind/body connection -Insurance pros and cons.
With a passion for inspiring individuals to claim their own personal excellence, my expertise is in understanding interpersonal dynamics, and successfully coaching individuals, couples, families and groups into reaching their highest self. My background includes a degree in Organizational Communication, a ten year career as a Technical/Corporate Instructor, and fifteen years of coaching/Therapy with a Master of Arts in MFT. Along with my private practice, I teach Zumba (dance inspired group fitness). I look forward to our meeting and becoming part of your journey.
mental illness -The mind/body connection -Insurance pros and cons.
With a passion for inspiring individuals to claim their own personal excellence, my expertise is in understanding interpersonal dynamics, and successfully coaching individuals, couples, families and groups into reaching their highest self. My background includes a degree in Organizational Communication, a ten year career as a Technical/Corporate Instructor, and fifteen years of coaching/Therapy with a Master of Arts in MFT. Along with my private practice, I teach Zumba (dance inspired group fitness). I look forward to our meeting and becoming part of your journey.
(831) 216-6826 View (831) 216-6826
Photo of Lindsay Waite, LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Lindsay Waite
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Like anyone, I have had my own struggles with depression, anxiety, addiction and psychosomatic illness.
My name is Lindsay Waite, LCSW. My area of focus is treating trauma and I take a client-centered, Positive Psychology, humanistic approach. I treat a wide range of conditions including depression, anxiety, trauma, interpersonal conflict, and addiction in both adults and teens. I provide a holistic or integrative approach to therapy meaning I may use psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, or humanistic depending on the background and needs of the client.
Like anyone, I have had my own struggles with depression, anxiety, addiction and psychosomatic illness.
My name is Lindsay Waite, LCSW. My area of focus is treating trauma and I take a client-centered, Positive Psychology, humanistic approach. I treat a wide range of conditions including depression, anxiety, trauma, interpersonal conflict, and addiction in both adults and teens. I provide a holistic or integrative approach to therapy meaning I may use psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, or humanistic depending on the background and needs of the client.
(831) 777-3817 View (831) 777-3817
Photo of Kristi Van Pykeren, LMFT, Marriage & Family Therapist
Kristi Van Pykeren
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Informed by evidence-based approaches, I target anxiety, stress, addiction, codependency, trauma, chronic pain, grief and other life transitions.
I approach therapy with the hope that together, with my experience and your willingness to seek support, you would feel equipped to face the obstacles in your life with strength, resilience, and a pocket full of empowering tools. I provide evidenced-based therapy for adults of all ages and have over a decade of experience providing care in both a private practice setting and a medical setting treating individuals seeking support. Along with my private practice, I am currently the Clinical Director at The Key Addiction Treatment Center. My approach is to help foster insight, deeper understanding, and relief from suffering.
Informed by evidence-based approaches, I target anxiety, stress, addiction, codependency, trauma, chronic pain, grief and other life transitions.
I approach therapy with the hope that together, with my experience and your willingness to seek support, you would feel equipped to face the obstacles in your life with strength, resilience, and a pocket full of empowering tools. I provide evidenced-based therapy for adults of all ages and have over a decade of experience providing care in both a private practice setting and a medical setting treating individuals seeking support. Along with my private practice, I am currently the Clinical Director at The Key Addiction Treatment Center. My approach is to help foster insight, deeper understanding, and relief from suffering.
(831) 231-2030 View (831) 231-2030
Photo of Philip Spradling, LMFT, PhD, MSG, Marriage & Family Therapist
Philip Spradling
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT, PhD, MSG
Verified Verified
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
I also assist those living with chronic pain and illness who feel isolated.
Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is." - There is great benefit to be found from tuning into your heart and mind. What are these voices saying to you? Do you sense a disconnect between your desires in life and the person you present to others? Are you a spiritual person but you don't find this impacts your daily life? It is my aim to create a safe and welcoming space where one feels known and accepted just as they are. When one feels accepted, one is able to share more and more of their journey, including the painful parts. Feeling deeply heard & understood is a starting point toward transformation.
I also assist those living with chronic pain and illness who feel isolated.
Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is." - There is great benefit to be found from tuning into your heart and mind. What are these voices saying to you? Do you sense a disconnect between your desires in life and the person you present to others? Are you a spiritual person but you don't find this impacts your daily life? It is my aim to create a safe and welcoming space where one feels known and accepted just as they are. When one feels accepted, one is able to share more and more of their journey, including the painful parts. Feeling deeply heard & understood is a starting point toward transformation.
(626) 551-4236 View (626) 551-4236
Photo of Marissa Mirbach, ASW
Marissa Mirbach
Associate Clinical Social Worker, ASW
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
I work with individuals to heal symptoms such as depression, anxiety, addictions, chronic pain or illness, grief and attachment based wounding.
We all aspire to lead lives of fulfillment, contentment, and presence. The complexities of modern living often obstruct these pursuits, leaving us feeling challenged and at times, as if achieving the life we desire is an insurmountable task. The entanglement in cycles of challenging behaviors, dysfunctional relationships, and anxious thoughts becomes a barrier to our well-being. As a therapist, my purpose is to assist you in navigating through this noise, gaining a deeper understanding of yourself, and fostering self-love and self-compassion.
I work with individuals to heal symptoms such as depression, anxiety, addictions, chronic pain or illness, grief and attachment based wounding.
We all aspire to lead lives of fulfillment, contentment, and presence. The complexities of modern living often obstruct these pursuits, leaving us feeling challenged and at times, as if achieving the life we desire is an insurmountable task. The entanglement in cycles of challenging behaviors, dysfunctional relationships, and anxious thoughts becomes a barrier to our well-being. As a therapist, my purpose is to assist you in navigating through this noise, gaining a deeper understanding of yourself, and fostering self-love and self-compassion.
(831) 246-7191 View (831) 246-7191
Photo of Melissa Lehrich, LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Melissa Lehrich
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
My focuses are Depression, anxiety, aging, Chronic Illness, Caregiving, Family Conflict, Grief and Loss, Life Transitions, and Stress management.
Hello, my name is Melissa Lehrich, Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I have an admiration for those who seek to heal and create a more meaningful life, My focus is to help individuals find peace in themselves and become aware of their inner strengths. We will work together to help you grow from your struggles, increase your quality of life and move forward to where you would like to be. My treatment approaches include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, and Solution Focused Brief Therapy.
My focuses are Depression, anxiety, aging, Chronic Illness, Caregiving, Family Conflict, Grief and Loss, Life Transitions, and Stress management.
Hello, my name is Melissa Lehrich, Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I have an admiration for those who seek to heal and create a more meaningful life, My focus is to help individuals find peace in themselves and become aware of their inner strengths. We will work together to help you grow from your struggles, increase your quality of life and move forward to where you would like to be. My treatment approaches include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, and Solution Focused Brief Therapy.
(831) 850-0838 View (831) 850-0838
Photo of Carol Cochrane Bass, MA, LMFT, Marriage & Family Therapist
Carol Cochrane Bass
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, LMFT
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
As I trusted others with my own struggles and pain, and experienced their compassion and insights, it helped me on my own life journey and I desired to offer that same care to others.
VIDEO SESSIONS AVAILABLE FOR ALL CLIENTS . . . . . Initiating therapy can be a daunting and challenging process, and that begins with selecting a therapist around whom you will feel comfortable, safe and respected. To help you with that process, I'll start by sharing a few things about myself. I became a therapist because I discovered that it was a large part of who I am. Even at an early age, I found that I was often the person others felt safe to let their guard down with - to share what was happening below the surface, and to seek out my advice.
As I trusted others with my own struggles and pain, and experienced their compassion and insights, it helped me on my own life journey and I desired to offer that same care to others.
VIDEO SESSIONS AVAILABLE FOR ALL CLIENTS . . . . . Initiating therapy can be a daunting and challenging process, and that begins with selecting a therapist around whom you will feel comfortable, safe and respected. To help you with that process, I'll start by sharing a few things about myself. I became a therapist because I discovered that it was a large part of who I am. Even at an early age, I found that I was often the person others felt safe to let their guard down with - to share what was happening below the surface, and to seek out my advice.
(831) 425-2277 View (831) 425-2277
Photo of Michelle R Moses - Michelle Moses LCSW, LCSW, MSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Michelle Moses LCSW
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, MSW
Verified Verified
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Do you find yourself up at night worrying? Do you cry in the shower, feel all alone or “not yourself?” My clients tell me they feel supported and safe to process out stress w/ spot focused attention-- this allows for quick relief from physical and/or emotional pain and creates space and energy for creative problem solving and creating your life in alignment!.
Pandemic. War. Existential shock; we can feel lack in our joy and our vitality; we feel overwhelm in body, mind and spirit. We can’t sleep, our relationships don’t feel right and we feel lost in the huge and scary waves of fear and worry about the past, the future and our survival...there is hope! we partner in practices to find compassion and radical acceptance; we dedicate space to cultivate and nourish the growth mindset and ourselves deeply— I hold sacred and safe spaces for womxn who feel stuck in fear and overwhelm so they can reboot and reconnect with their body wisdom and become the best version of themselves. regardless.
Do you find yourself up at night worrying? Do you cry in the shower, feel all alone or “not yourself?” My clients tell me they feel supported and safe to process out stress w/ spot focused attention-- this allows for quick relief from physical and/or emotional pain and creates space and energy for creative problem solving and creating your life in alignment!.
Pandemic. War. Existential shock; we can feel lack in our joy and our vitality; we feel overwhelm in body, mind and spirit. We can’t sleep, our relationships don’t feel right and we feel lost in the huge and scary waves of fear and worry about the past, the future and our survival...there is hope! we partner in practices to find compassion and radical acceptance; we dedicate space to cultivate and nourish the growth mindset and ourselves deeply— I hold sacred and safe spaces for womxn who feel stuck in fear and overwhelm so they can reboot and reconnect with their body wisdom and become the best version of themselves. regardless.
(831) 888-1594 View (831) 888-1594
Photo of Diana Waszczuk-Howlin - Self Discovery Jungian Psychotherapy, LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Self Discovery Jungian Psychotherapy
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
I think therapy is always a good idea. Crisis, however, is often what leads us into therapy, and I believe that it is a call and an opportunity to look deeply, not only into our "problems" but, into ourselves. My approach is non-pathologizing, relational, and grounded in Jungian theory. I work with a variety of concerns with a special interest in spirituality, identity discovery, developmental and transitional adjustments, grief, loss, depression, chronic and palliative illness. I believe that every person has an innate capacity for healing and I am interested in helping people find theirs.
I think therapy is always a good idea. Crisis, however, is often what leads us into therapy, and I believe that it is a call and an opportunity to look deeply, not only into our "problems" but, into ourselves. My approach is non-pathologizing, relational, and grounded in Jungian theory. I work with a variety of concerns with a special interest in spirituality, identity discovery, developmental and transitional adjustments, grief, loss, depression, chronic and palliative illness. I believe that every person has an innate capacity for healing and I am interested in helping people find theirs.
(831) 217-6014 View (831) 217-6014
Photo of Maura Furness, LCSW, PPSC, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Maura Furness
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, PPSC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Santa Cruz, CA 95062  (Online Only)
I have a straight forward, strength-based, humanistic approach to working with my clients. I believe you have inherent strengths and transformational healing abilities no matter how much pain or suffering you may experience. My goal is to support you to discover and harness these abilities to access healing, freedom from suffering, and a deeper inner knowing.
I have a straight forward, strength-based, humanistic approach to working with my clients. I believe you have inherent strengths and transformational healing abilities no matter how much pain or suffering you may experience. My goal is to support you to discover and harness these abilities to access healing, freedom from suffering, and a deeper inner knowing.
(831) 292-4298 View (831) 292-4298
Photo of Monika Martynska, LMFT, Marriage & Family Therapist
Monika Martynska
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT
Verified Verified
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
I have ongoing groups focusing on chronic illness, stress reduction, and anxiety.
Congratulations for taking a step towards creating change. Finding a therapist can be challenging and it is important to find one who is right for you. I offer a free introductory session which we use to get to know each other. Clients often come into my office feeling hopeless or nervous, but usually leave feeling more hopeful and relaxed. I love to see people grow and thrive with the support of therapy. My style is warm, empathic, and collaborative. In our work together we draw on your strengths and wisdom and my goal is to empower you to create a more joyful and fulfilling life.
I have ongoing groups focusing on chronic illness, stress reduction, and anxiety.
Congratulations for taking a step towards creating change. Finding a therapist can be challenging and it is important to find one who is right for you. I offer a free introductory session which we use to get to know each other. Clients often come into my office feeling hopeless or nervous, but usually leave feeling more hopeful and relaxed. I love to see people grow and thrive with the support of therapy. My style is warm, empathic, and collaborative. In our work together we draw on your strengths and wisdom and my goal is to empower you to create a more joyful and fulfilling life.
(831) 539-0596 View (831) 539-0596
Photo of Isa Reser - Isa Reser, MA, ATR, LMFT, Marriage & Family Therapist
Isa Reser
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, ATR, LMFT
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
I believe therapy is the development of a safe and trusting relationship between the facilitator and the participant. Therapy can be hard work and getting started can be scary, however making art, using play or being in nature can ease this process. As your therapist I will encourage you to use your creative imagination as a vehicle to understanding your inner turmoil, psychic pain or stagnancy. Along the way we will be implementing these effective tools in cultivating a more fulfilling life experience.
I believe therapy is the development of a safe and trusting relationship between the facilitator and the participant. Therapy can be hard work and getting started can be scary, however making art, using play or being in nature can ease this process. As your therapist I will encourage you to use your creative imagination as a vehicle to understanding your inner turmoil, psychic pain or stagnancy. Along the way we will be implementing these effective tools in cultivating a more fulfilling life experience.
(831) 471-5007 View (831) 471-5007
Photo of Krista Gallagher, MA, AMFT, Marriage & Family Therapist Associate
Krista Gallagher
Marriage & Family Therapist Associate, MA, AMFT
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Santa Cruz, CA 95062  (Online Only)
I specialize in anxiety, depression, chronic pain & illness, life transitions, motherhood & parenting, couples therapy, & working with those who identify as HSP.
Are you seeking a therapist who is attuned, invested, present and committed to supporting you on your journey toward growth, discovery, and healing? Having been a client myself, I understand how important it is to find a therapist who you feel really "gets you" and with whom you feel safe and comfortable being vulnerable and open. I focus on creating a foundation of presence, safety, and trust in the therapeutic relationship. I am here to see you, hear you, understand you, and support you & will meet you with a non-judgmental, compassionate, and supportive presence as we work together.
I specialize in anxiety, depression, chronic pain & illness, life transitions, motherhood & parenting, couples therapy, & working with those who identify as HSP.
Are you seeking a therapist who is attuned, invested, present and committed to supporting you on your journey toward growth, discovery, and healing? Having been a client myself, I understand how important it is to find a therapist who you feel really "gets you" and with whom you feel safe and comfortable being vulnerable and open. I focus on creating a foundation of presence, safety, and trust in the therapeutic relationship. I am here to see you, hear you, understand you, and support you & will meet you with a non-judgmental, compassionate, and supportive presence as we work together.
(831) 263-4575 View (831) 263-4575
Photo of Hannah Idalia - Hannah Idalia, MA, LMFT, CMT, Marriage & Family Therapist
Hannah Idalia
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, LMFT, CMT
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Santa Cruz, CA 95062  (Online Only)
Your healing can start today! In addition to being an LMFT, my approach extends beyond talk therapy to include holistic/integrative methods. I help individuals get to the root of their problems that lie hidden outside of awareness. My approach is highly influenced by mindfulness practice. You will be guided in each session to build your capacity for present moment focus using breath and body awareness and radical acceptance. This liberates heavy energy and/or pain associated with thoughts and feelings that may have been hidden or stuck. Are you ready to discover what's possible in a collaborative healing relationship? Reach out!
Your healing can start today! In addition to being an LMFT, my approach extends beyond talk therapy to include holistic/integrative methods. I help individuals get to the root of their problems that lie hidden outside of awareness. My approach is highly influenced by mindfulness practice. You will be guided in each session to build your capacity for present moment focus using breath and body awareness and radical acceptance. This liberates heavy energy and/or pain associated with thoughts and feelings that may have been hidden or stuck. Are you ready to discover what's possible in a collaborative healing relationship? Reach out!
(831) 531-6492 View (831) 531-6492
Photo of Robin Beltran, PhD, Psychologist
Robin Beltran
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
Santa Cruz, CA 95060  (Online Only)
I have extensive experience using this holistic approach to treat anxiety, panic attacks, depression, sleep problems, and stress related problems such as migraine and tension headaches and chronic pain.
We've all had moments when we felt lost, confused, stressed, depressed or anxious and longed to feel better. I believe that within every person is a core foundation of strength, and that with guidance and support we can use that strength to find health and happiness. I am a licensed clinical psychologist with over 20 years experience helping people cope with emotional distress and discover a better quality of life. My approach to therapy involves working with you to create a set of strategies and skills to help you move forward toward better emotional, spiritual, physical and mental health.
I have extensive experience using this holistic approach to treat anxiety, panic attacks, depression, sleep problems, and stress related problems such as migraine and tension headaches and chronic pain.
We've all had moments when we felt lost, confused, stressed, depressed or anxious and longed to feel better. I believe that within every person is a core foundation of strength, and that with guidance and support we can use that strength to find health and happiness. I am a licensed clinical psychologist with over 20 years experience helping people cope with emotional distress and discover a better quality of life. My approach to therapy involves working with you to create a set of strategies and skills to help you move forward toward better emotional, spiritual, physical and mental health.
(831) 215-3613 x1 View (831) 215-3613 x1
Photo of Joe Sousa, MA, LMFT, Marriage & Family Therapist
Joe Sousa
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, LMFT
Verified Verified
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Furthermore, my experience includes working with those with physical difficulties, such as sleeplessness, excessive weight loss or gain, and acute and chronic pain management.
Hi. I am Joe Sousa, a licensed psychotherapist in the State of CA. I've been providing counseling services in the Santa Cruz area in one form or another since 1993. Here's the issues I work with in therapy: Relationship enhancement, improve communication, sexual intimacy; handling difficulties, such as breakups and divorce; discovering life purpose and build self-esteem; issues relating to school, careers, money, a child or an elderly parent; dealing with powerful emotions, like anger, anxiety, depression, fear, grief, loss, and panic; addictive or compulsive behavior, with regard to alcohol, drugs, food, sex and/or porn.
Furthermore, my experience includes working with those with physical difficulties, such as sleeplessness, excessive weight loss or gain, and acute and chronic pain management.
Hi. I am Joe Sousa, a licensed psychotherapist in the State of CA. I've been providing counseling services in the Santa Cruz area in one form or another since 1993. Here's the issues I work with in therapy: Relationship enhancement, improve communication, sexual intimacy; handling difficulties, such as breakups and divorce; discovering life purpose and build self-esteem; issues relating to school, careers, money, a child or an elderly parent; dealing with powerful emotions, like anger, anxiety, depression, fear, grief, loss, and panic; addictive or compulsive behavior, with regard to alcohol, drugs, food, sex and/or porn.
(831) 219-4797 View (831) 219-4797
Photo of Chris Davidson, MA, MFT, Marriage & Family Therapist
Chris Davidson
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, MFT
Verified Verified
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Not accepting new clients
My therapeutic style is personal, respectful and practical. I can help you create and notice positive changes in your life and relationships and adapt to changing conditions as necessary. I'll work with you to achieve tangible results towards your goals in therapy. We'll focus on what works to notice positive change as it happens. Although I treat people with a wide range of issues, some areas of particular focus in my practice are: helping individuals and relationships that are affected by Chronic Physical Illness and/or Pain, Depression and Anxiety.
My therapeutic style is personal, respectful and practical. I can help you create and notice positive changes in your life and relationships and adapt to changing conditions as necessary. I'll work with you to achieve tangible results towards your goals in therapy. We'll focus on what works to notice positive change as it happens. Although I treat people with a wide range of issues, some areas of particular focus in my practice are: helping individuals and relationships that are affected by Chronic Physical Illness and/or Pain, Depression and Anxiety.
(831) 824-4924 View (831) 824-4924
1
Chronic Pain Therapists

How does chronic pain therapy work?

Engaging with a psychotherapist to help treat chronic pain does not mean that one’s pain is all in their head. Therapy for chronic-pain patients has been shown to benefit both the mind and the body, targeting physical symptoms and increasing daily functioning. In other words, for many, addressing their emotional health through therapy affects their physical health. A therapist can help a client challenge unhelpful thoughts about pain and develop new ways to respond to it, such as distraction or calming breathing techniques. Studies have found that therapy can be as effective as surgery for certain cases of chronic pain and many doctors recommend trying psychotherapy in advance of considering invasive surgery.

What are the most effective treatment options for chronic pain?

Stress, anxiety, depression, catastrophizing, ruminating, lack of activity, and social withdrawal all make chronic pain worse. Addressing these issues, research shows, can help people gain control over their pain symptoms. Therapeutic approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy, biofeedback, and mindfulness-based stress reduction, along with greater pain-management education, have been found to help people reduce fear and disability.

Are there new treatments for chronic pain?

Many cases of chronic pain, particularly those involving back pain, remain medically unexplained. But there is evidence that changes in the brain or nervous system are caused by previous physical ailments such as tissue damage; in such cases, the brain may continue to send out pain signals despite the physical cause having healed. To aid patients under these circumstances, a recently developed treatment known as pain reprocessing therapy (PRT) is designed to help the brain “unlearn” this response. A PRT practitioner helps individuals to reduce the “threat value” of their ongoing pain signals until they can reappraise them as less threatening and fear-inducing. They also help an individual to develop new emotional regulation skills.

How long does therapy for chronic pain take?

There is no set timeline for recovery from chronic pain, especially as there may be a range of physical and psychological causes for any individual’s discomfort, but most patients should expect to see a therapist for a number of weeks or months, typically spanning at least 12 sessions. Studies of pain reprocessing therapy found that many individuals’ experience of pain lessened in eight sessions over four weeks.