The Application of Cognitive Therapy to Chronic Pain

  • Philip C. Miller
Part of the Applied Clinical Psychology book series (NSSB)


The purpose of this chapter is to outline the application of cognitive psychotherapy to chronic pain populations. Particular emphasis will be placed on the application of cognitive therapy to patients suffering from musculoskeletal injuries, such as those sustained in motor vehicle or work-related accidents. The nature and prevalence of pain problems will be briefly examined, followed by a consideration of psychological models of the etiology of pain disorders. Cognitive conceptualizations of chronic pain will be discussed, and the clinical implications of these theories will be examined. The following therapeutic issues will be highlighted: (1) the development and maintenance of the therapeutic alliance, (2) flexibility, (3) the role of dysfunctional cognitions in the maintenance of pain disorders, and (4) the importance of considering core cognitions. It will also be argued that cognitive therapy must be undertaken in the context of any psychopathology associated with chronic pain problems. Case examples will be presented to illustrate major points.


Chronic Pain Pain Patient Cognitive Therapy Chronic Pain Patient Chronic Back Pain 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip C. Miller
    • 1
  1. 1.Behavioral Health ClinicTorontoCanada

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