Week 1: Understanding chronic pain

Week 4: Healthy thinking, healthy self

Week 5: Balancing your activity patterns

Week 6: Maintaining your gains and staying well

Weekly review

Week 1 Recap 

Welcome back to the Epsychonline Coping with Chronic Pain Course. Last week we introduced you to the course and covered the following topics on chronic pain and CBT:

  • What is chronic pain?
  • Receiving a diagnosis of chronic pain
  • Common signs and symptoms of chronic pain
  • Causes of chronic pain
  • It’s not ‘all in your head’
  • Treatment options for chronic pain
  • Myths about chronic pain
  • What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?
  • CBT principles 
  • CBT for chronic pain
  • Making a commitment to change

If you need to refresh your memory on these topics, please refer back to Week 1.

Action Plan Review

Your action plan for last week was to:

  • Use the My Commitment to Change worksheet to help you record your 1) reasons for change, 2) pros and cons of change, and 3) self-contract and goals for the course.

How did you go? 

If you completed your action plan tasks, well done! We hope you found it helpful to think about your reasons for change. Looking at your pros and cons exercise, what did you conclude? Often, people decide that taking action will serve them better than taking no action and staying the same. Whilst taking action may cause short-term distress, the long term benefits tend to outweigh the costs. Is this the same or different to what you found? 

If you didn’t get a chance to complete these tasks, we encourage you to go back and do so before taking on Week 2.

Week 2 Outline

This week, we will look more closely at chronic pain and a CBT model for understanding it. This model shows how your pain, thoughts, feelings and behaviours interact and impact each other. We also introduce you to the vicious cycle of chronic pain and the biopsychosocial model pain. All of this is helpful for learning how to break free from chronic pain. Finally, we discuss the importance of goal setting in recovery and guide you through strategies to help you set some goals and monitor your pain.