How It Works
- Recognize what is troubling you.
- Become aware of your thoughts and emotions in relation to the problem you’re facing.
- Identify negative or harmful thinking patterns that may be contributing to your difficult situation.
- Stop negative thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors and replace them with positive or helpful habits.
Chronic Pain Symptom Relief
- Joint pain
- Back pain and
Improvement for Chronic Low Back Pain, Musculoskeletal Pain Intensity
- Anxiety disorders
- Depression and dysthymia
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Bipolar disorder
- Anger or aggression issues
- Criminal behaviors
- Eating disorders
- Somatoform disorders (psychiatric disorders that cause physical symptoms)
- Substance use disorders or other addictions
- Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
- Personality disorders
- Distress due to medical conditions
- Distress related to pregnancy-related distress or female hormonal conditions
General Health and Wellness Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
How to Use CBT
The first step is to find a therapist. Many types of mental health experts are trained to practice this type of treatment.
- Clinical social workers
- Professional counselors
What to Expect
CBT sessions may be conducted in person or via a virtual format, such as videoconferencing.
Fees: Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Expensive? Will Insurance Cover It?
Certain resources may be helpful for people with chronic pain who are interested in CBT. Here are some of our top picks.
Editorial Sources and Fact-Checking
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.?Mayo Clinic.?March 2019.
- Prevalence of Pain Management Techniques Among Adults With Chronic Pain.
- Groenwald CB et al.?Journal of the American Medical Association.?February 2022.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).?Cleveland Clinic. January 2020.
- What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy??American Psychological Association. July 2017.
- Hofmann SG, Asnaani A, et al. The Efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Review of Meta-analyses.?Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.?July 2012.
- Kolubinski DC, Frings D, et al. A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of CBT Interventions Based on the Fennell Model of Low Self-Esteem.?Psychiatric Research.?June 2018.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.?Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. September 2016.
- Williams AC de C, Fisher E, et al. Psychological Therapies for the Management of Chronic Pain (Excluding Headache) in Adults.?Cochrane. August 2020.
- DeBar L, Mayhew M, et al. A Primary Care-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Intervention for Long-Term Opioid Users With Chronic Pain.?Annals of Internal Medicine.?January 2022.
- Carpenter K, Stoner S, et al. An Online Self-Help CBT Intervention for Chronic Lower Back Pain.?Clinical Journal of Pain. January 2012.
- Glombiewski J, Sawyer A, et al. Psychological Treatments for Fibromyalgia: A Meta-Analysis.?Pain.?November 2010.
- How Do I Choose a Therapist??Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT).
- Low-Cost Treatment.?Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA).
- 15 Pros and Cons of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.?ConnectUS. December 2018.
- Cohen J, Mannarino A, et al. Trauma-Focused CBT for Youth With Complex Trauma.?Childhood Abuse & Neglect.?June 2012.
- Schermuly?Haupt ML, Linden M, et al. Unwanted Events and Side Effects in Cognitive Behavior Therapy.?Cognitive Therapy and Research. March 2018.