Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 179–186 | Cite as

Brief Psychological and Hypnotic Interventions in Chronic Pain Management

  • Ann Williamson
Original Paper


This article will explore how brief psychological approaches using hypnosis and imagery can be used with patients with chronic pain, predominantly in a Primary Care setting, although much that is discussed here could be applied in the Secondary sector. Chronic pain is defined as pain which endures for more than 6 months and may last for months or years. It serves no physiological purpose and persists after the time that ‘normal’ healing would be supposed to have taken place. Chronic pain may also range from that of cancer or arthritis, to that which seems to have no single or obvious physical causation. Teaching self-hypnosis and use of imagery can give these patients tools that they can use to help themselves, not only with pain, but also with the emotional distress that so often accompanies and exacerbates it. Unlike medication, self-hypnosis has only positive side effects and can give back some measure of control to patients who feel helpless and hopeless.


Chronic pain Hypnosis Self-hypnosis Imagery Client-generated imagery Relaxation Expressive arts Visualisation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hollybank HouseAshton-under-LyneUK

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