104: Ask David — The Treatment of Acute and Chronic Pain

How do you treat individuals with pain when there is no organic cause?

Today we answer a challenging question submitted by Anne, who writes:

Hi David,

I’m currently studying counselling/psychotherapy in the UK. Last month I discovered your podcast, then read your book Feeling Good, and it was the first thing that really lit up my eyes and got me obsessively studying! Everything about your TEAM-CBT model is so compelling and inspiring and first I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to share it with all of us.

I also have a specific question which I’d love to hear you answer in one of your “Ask David” episodes. My ambition is to specialize in treating patients who have chronic pain with no clear physical cause. I’ve had that problem myself for several years, so I’d love to hear your thoughts on psychological treatments for pain. How do you apply the TEAM CBT model to those patients? Any wisdom you could share would have me on the edge of my seat!

Thanks so much for listening


Thanks, Anne, for your terrific question on one of my favorite topics. In this podcast devoted to pain and depression, I describe research on the relationship between physical pain and negative emotions such as depression, anxiety, and anger. Does pain cause depression? Or does depression cause or amplify pain?

And what can we do to help patients with physical pain and intense negative emotions?

In addition, why do so many individuals struggle with somatic problems, such as physical pain, dizziness, or fatigue, when there is no apparent organic cause for the pain? Is there any hope?

I think you will enjoy the show, Anne, at least I hope you do! I really enjoyed answering your question on one of my favorite topics!




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