CBT Strategies To Target Fibromyalgia Symptoms
According to licensed clinical social worker Beth Kane, an expert with people with chronic illness, who also doubles up as Point Pleasant’s New Jersey life coach, the following symptoms of fibromyalgia can be managed through CBT Therapies:
CBT can be effective in tackling catastrophized pain. It does so by reframing thoughts around pain. A patient can be trained to go from the worst thoughts and led progressively to less emotive and consuming thoughts. For instance, CBT can help a patient get from “this pain is so bad I cannot live like this” to “the pain is quite intense but I can still live and do x-y-z.” As such, ACT does help the patient accept the reality of the moment, which serves to reduce anxiety and allows the patient to lessen the focus on their pain.
CBT tackle the symptom of fatigue in several ways. The most important of which are journaling and using worksheets. Many patients suffer from stress due to having disorganized lives that lead to fatigue. CBT therapists can help clients identify high energy, recurring and high priority tasks and plan a schedule to effectively manage their time and energy expenditure. In addition, skills of mindfulness, acceptance, and relaxation help patients identify things that they can let go of to save energy for better use. Consequently, patients experience less stress and fatigue.
Fibro fog, or brain fog, is a result of the vicious cycle of chronic pain, lack of sleep and fatigue. One of the most effective ways of dealing with brain fog is by mindfulness (a component of ACT often used in CBT therapies). Mindfulness entails being aware in the present moment, rather than worrying or thinking about the future. Mindfulness allows the patient to be more engaged in what they are doing. This helps the therapist devise targeted therapeutic coping strategies to help the client deal with the now, make needed changes and better manage unpleasant experiences.
Journaling is also an effective tool in CBT to help with focusing. The visual processing and recording of experiences and feelings has been shown to be great at engaging the different areas of the brain. The focus and engagement in turn help the patient take concrete action. Other then tackling the specific symptoms of fibromyalgia, CBT helps to build a stronger psychological well-being in patients.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a talk therapy which does not require any medication or physical treatment. It is suitable for anyone suffering from fibromyalgia.
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