Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind, and behavior, embracing all aspects of conscious and unconscious experience as well as thought. It looks at its functions, especially those affecting behavior in a given context, exploring the mental characteristics or attitude of a person or group, and examines the mental and emotional factors governing a situation or activity.
Counseling is the exploration of thoughts and emotions as an individual, couple, family, or group. For people suffering from pain or disease, this can be especially useful to decrease the depression and anxiety that often accompanies these conditions, address any past history that may be getting in the way of healing, or simply assisting in solving some of the problems and aggravations of everyday life that are exacerbated by pain and that pain exacerbates: parenting issues, couple’s conflict, or household or work issues. The goal of counseling is to decrease stress, increase joy, and increase psychological health in all areas, so that physical health can improve.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT is a form of counseling that emphasizes the important role of thinking in how we feel and what we do. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is based on the idea that our thoughts about a situation cause our feelings and behaviors, rather than the situation itself. For people in pain this is particularly useful to help re-frame their thoughts more positively about their condition, as well as help have more adaptive thinking about other aspects of their lives that are so affected by pain and ill health.
Mind-body medicine and Relaxation techniques
A variety of tools and techniques are incorporated in order to teach patients to learn to vo control their physiological responses to stress, anxiety, pain, and panic. They learn control over blood pressure, muscle tension, heart rate, and breathing in order to improve health and performance as well as decrease pain, blood pressure, and stress responses. Methods include progressive relaxation, visualization, hypnosis, meditation, heart rate variability etc.
In the simplest of terms, mindfulness means being in the present. Patients can use mindfulness to decrease pain, anxiety, trauma responses, and depression, and to increase joy, peace, and performance.