Psychotherapy for back pain is a drastic form of knowledge therapy that is used to treat severe mindbody health conditions. Psychotherapy is a form of emotional therapy derived from psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis was invented by the brilliant neurologist Sigmund Freud in the late 1800's and remains a major focus of mindbody treatment today. Psychotherapy involves one on one meetings between the patient and the therapist. The therapist helps the patient get in touch with their inner emotions and resolve psychological issues which have been repressed. Group therapy is often used in later sessions, as a way to show the patient that they are not alone in their problems.
This essay profiles the role of modern psychotherapy in back and neck pain treatment.
Many common back pain syndromes are actually caused by psychological and emotional issues. The mind can exert tremendous power over the physical body. Sometimes the subconscious mind is so threatened by some repressed emotional issue, that it creates a diversion of pain in the physical body. This diversion is called a defense mechanism.
Painful emotional issues exist forever in the subconscious mind. The conscious mind is not aware of these issues, but the repressed thoughts and feelings are always seeking to gain consciousness. The subconscious mind realizes the power of these painful emotions and will do anything possible to prevent these thoughts from entering into consciousness.
Physical pain is a common psychological defense mechanism, since it is extremely effective at getting and holding the attention of the conscious mind. Of course, the consequence is that the person suffers a downward spiral of enduring symptoms that might last or recur forever, until the cycle of repression and defense is broken.
Most psychological back pain can be cured without psychotherapy.
Dr. John Sarno, an expert in mindbody medicine, estimates that up to 95% of psychosomatic back pain can be cured by the patient alone. The remaining 5% might need some professional psychological help to overcome their critical repressed emotional issues. However, being one of the few who do require psychotherapy is not such a bad thing. This type of emotional intervention can bring about far more than relief from physical pain. It can lead to a happier life and better comfort in one’s own skin. Apart from the financial cost of treatment, there are really no risks whatsoever.
However, the monetary investment of psychotherapy can be huge, especially when sessions are continued over time. Since most therapists want to see their patients weekly and charge between $100 and $300 per session, it is easy to see why professional psychological therapy can quickly become a fiscal hardship for any patient to endure.
Psychotherapists may come from various backgrounds. Most are licensed doctors of psychology, while others are psychiatrists. Psychotherapists can also be people with advanced degrees in social work or nursing. Licensed professional counselors (LPC) often practice psychotherapy as well. People working in the psychiatric field must have advanced degrees in their field (usually doctorate) and be licensed.
If you are looking for pain relief from your therapy sessions, be sure that your psychotherapist is trained in mindbody health issues. It is not enough to seek psychological help from just anyone. The connection between the pain and the underlying emotions must be made and this requires a particular type of specially-trained professional.
You can read more about finding a great doctor on our page titled TMS psychotherapy.
Our society is generally very sympathetic to people with physical problems and diseases. We feel bad for anyone who has an illness or disability. If we need to go to the doctor for pain, our employers understand. If we are working slow due to a back injury, that is acceptable. However, if we have even a slight mental or emotional problem affecting our lives, society is much less sympathetic. Try telling your boss that you want some time off because you feel stressed out and see what happens.
Society still views emotional issues as an unacceptable stigma. Psychological conditions are viewed as a sign of weakness and defective development. The subconscious mind is well aware of this widely held view. This is one of the contributing reasons for physical pain being a common expression of emotional distress. The pain not only captures the attention of the sufferer, but also gives the condition credibility by gaining the attention of caregivers and healthcare practitioners.
Read more about the effects of the psychological back pain stigma.
Most psychosomatic back pain is the result of completely normal emotional occurrences in our lives. In these cases, the subconscious mind is clearly overestimating the power of these repressed emotions to cause our conscious minds real harm.
Sometimes, the psychological issues run very deeply. These issues might go back to highly traumatic experiences in one’s childhood. Common deeply repressed issues are often the result of severe physical, emotional and especially sexual abuse. The emotional scars left by these occurrences are often too great for a person to overcome without professional help.
In fact, some patients have plumbed their own subconscious recesses and were so frightened by what they found that they consciously decided to re-bury their emotional hurts and re-establish the physical pain that was familiar as a preferable burden in life.
Going through the intensive process of psychotherapy is nothing to be ashamed of. Anyone who has resolved their problems using psychotherapy is usually enriched by the experience. Many people claim that psychotherapy opens up a new chapter in their lives. It creates an opportunity to overcome bad habits and forgive themselves for bad choices or circumstances. Personally, I think that everyone could use to be more in touch with their true emotional selves.
Psychotherapy for back pain can be very effective at ending chronic dorsalgia that is often caused by severe repressed emotional issues. It is crucial that the therapist be trained in recognizing the signs of psychosomatic pain. If the therapist does not have training in mindbody disorders, then it unlikely that they will help the patient associate the physical pain with the emotional cause.
If you suspect that you are suffering from psychological back pain, try knowledge therapy. Most psychosomatic symptoms will respond well to this treatment and slowly disappear. If you do not get a positive result, then think about hiring a psychological professional to help you through the process. Psychotherapy can be a powerful tool in the fight against mindbody suffering.