Coping with Medical Problems
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) can do many different things for coping with medical problems. One way CBT can help is by changing the way that medical problems are viewed cognitively. Through cognitive restructuring, you can learn how to change the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors associated with the medical problem. This in turn helps with coping strategies, as well as puts the medical problems within a different context and framework. Another way CBT can help with various types of medical problems is through a different type of cognitive restructuring: CBT can change the physical response in the brain that makes pain worse. Because pain causes stress, and stress will affect pain control, the cognitive restructuring that CBT pinpoints helps you learn strategies that can change certain chemicals in the brain, such as norepinephrine and serotonin, that lead to how one psychologically conceptualizes pain. By reducing the arousal that impacts these chemicals CBT makes the bodies natural pain relief response more powerful.