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Department of Psychology

Clinical Psychology Center

Department of Psychology

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Pain Program FAQs

What topics will be discussed as part of the pain program?

At the beginning of treatment, sessions will focus on education about “pain pathways” (how pain signals are transmitted in the body), including how emotions, thoughts, and stress can actually influence the pain experienced.  A main component of the program involves learning relaxation skills, and we will use biofeedback to help in learning what it feels like to have a relaxed body.  In addition, we will provide more information about what stress is and will explore ways to handle stress.  We will explain the connections among thoughts, emotions, actions, and feelings of pain.  In addition to teaching the behavioral techniques to manage pain, we will provide suport for the family.

What is biofeedback?

Biofeedback is a treatment tool that is used for individuals with many physical and emotional challenges, including chronic pain.  You will be connected to a computer that has software to measure certain physiological processes that are linked to the feeling of pain, such as hand temperature and muscle tension.  With training, you will learn how to bring some of these “automatic” processes under individual control and will learn the difference between what it feels like to be tense versus relaxed.  Biofeedback is generally paired with relaxation training.  The clinic uses biofeedback instrumentation supplied by Thought Technology Ltd.

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