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Cognitive Therapy for Chronic Pain: A Step-by-Step Guide Paperback – 28 Oct 2004

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Guilford Press (28 Oct. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572309792
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572309791
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 1.6 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,035,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


'In an authoritative yet relaxed and accessible manner, Beverly Thorn presents an elegant masterpiece of manualized cognitive intervention. The book sets forth an impressively comprehensive, step-by-step approach for addressing the errors in thinking that often accompany chronic pain. It is practical, evidence-based, and appropriately rooted in theory, and includes a wealth of therapeutic dialogues, useful handouts, and troubleshooting tips based on the author^D's extensive clinical experience. While appropriate for use in one-on-one sessions, it is the group-based format that makes Dr. Thorn's approach to therapy particularly appealing. This book should be required reading for all mental health professionals who are serious about helping people with chronic pain.' - Gordon J. G. Asmundson, Anxiety and Illness Behaviors Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies, University of Regina, Canada

About the Author

Beverly E. Thorn, PhD, is Professor of Psychology and Director of the PhD program in Clinical Psychology at the University of Alabama, where she has been on the faculty since 1986. She received her PhD in bioclinical psychology from Southern Illinois University in 1980, satisfying the degree requirements for a doctorate in clinical psychology as well as physiological psychology. Dr. Thorn's research has included the investigation of descending pain-inhibitory systems in the brain using traditional behavioral neuroscience techniques, as well as psychological assessment and treatment outcome research in the area of pain management. Most recently, she has been involved in research investigating the important components of cognitive-behavioral treatment for chronic painful conditions, and, specifically, assessing and restructuring maladaptive cognitions associated with painful states. Dr. Thorn has held research grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Roche Laboratories, and is presently funded by the National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke. She is a Fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine and of the Division of Health Psychology of the American Psychological Association.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am one of these people who live with constant pain of some sort, analgesia doesn't really help, the alternative medicines i.e. acupuncture, back massage only helps for a while, so I was recommended to have some CBT which put me 'back on track' with coping with the pain, and this book was mentioned by the Psychologist I saw, and she was right it was a helpful piece of equipment and I can refer back to it as and when.
I would recommend this book to help Chronic Pain sufferers.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x908202d0) out of 5 stars 9 reviews
74 of 78 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x912d354c) out of 5 stars A helpful book for both patients and professionals 26 May 2005
By Daniel Bruns - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"You'll just have to learn to live with it." That's what many patients hear when there is nothing else that can be medically done to alleviate their pain. But how is a patient supposed to learn to "live with it?" Where this statement leaves off, Dr. Thorn's book begins. Dr. Thorn's book illustrates how a therapist can help patients with pain to better cope with their suffering, and to go on to live fulfilling lives. This book is aptly named, for it truly does take the reader on a step-by-step journey through the therapeutic process.

Cognitive Therapy for Chronic Pain is not a comprehensive chronic pain workbook, nor was it intended to be. It does not cover such issues as medications for pain, nor does it cover breathing techniques for pain or insomnia control. Rather, it takes one critically important aspect of pain disorders, how patients come to think about their pain, and deals with the therapeutic process more thoroughly than any other book currently available.

Cognitive Therapy for Chronic Pain book is a monumental work on the topic of how pain and suffering are influenced, for better or for worse, by a patient's belief system. Beyond this, this book does an extraordinary job of taking current scientific theory and research about the nature of pain, and distilling from that concrete advice for both clinicians and their patients. This book leaves the reader with the awareness that Dr. Thorn is a master at simplifying complex ideas, and explaining them in a way that even a discouraged patient can understand and benefit from.

Unlike some books, which are scientifically sound but which offer little that is clinically usable, Dr. Thorn's book is eminently practical. Cognitive Therapy for Chronic Pain walks the reader through the types of the beliefs that influence pain, how to assess them, therapeutic strategies, and homework assignment for the patients. This book even takes the additional step of identifying aspects of these assignments that patients are likely to have difficulty with, and strategies for helping patients overcome these difficulties.

Cognitive Therapy for Chronic Pain is organized with sections on theoretical matters, assessment devices with their scoring keys, and therapeutic strategies with actual homework forms. Additionally, there are also sample dialogs illustrating how to present this information, and how the patient might respond.

Dr. Thorn's approach is at the same time sympathetic to the plight of patients with pain, while still offering hope. While never judgmental, she still challenges patients to identify ineffective coping strategies, and to learn better ones. Most health psychologists will have a chronic pain workbook on their shelf. Cognitive Therapy for Chronic Pain is the next step beyond such a workbook, and will be an indispensable addition to even a senior pain professional's library.

Although this book is written as a guide for clinicians who treat pain, this book can also be a useful self-help guide for a motivated patient with pain.
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x908cf0fc) out of 5 stars Tough love for chronic pain? 18 Mar. 2011
By Book Junkie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a Marriage and Family Therapist who works with cognitive therapy and also suffers from chronic pain, I felt very sad reading this book. Dr. Thorn states that the belief "Medication--belief that medications in general are appropriate for chronic pain problems" is associated with poorer adjustment. Would she then make the statement, "Medication--belief that medications in general are appropriate for depression" is associate with poorer adjusment? If SSRIs are standard treatment for depression, ACE-inhibitors standard treatment for hypertension, and statins standard treament for high cholesterol, then why are pain medications considered problematic for the treatment of chronic pain? This type of thinking is very hypocritical and deprives chronic pain sufferers of available pain relief, along with causing them a great deal of guilt.

Although I agree with the effectiveness of Dr. Thorn's writing exercise and positive coping self-statements, I disagree that talking about one's pain with others is a negative coping skill. Pain is part of the human condition. Pretending one is not in pain is deceptive and dishonest. Although patients need to choose carefully with whom they share their pain stories, others may in fact learn to develop greater empathy by hearing these stories. In addition, the patient suffering pain may be able to provide support and empathy to other people experiencing pain and become more empathic. Some relationships become closer from this deep sharing.

I believe that a more well-rounded approach to treating chronic pain (including select aspects of cognitive behavioral therapy, marital or family therapy, art or music therapy, and some psychodynamic therapy) provides a more compassionate, comprehensive approach to treating patients with chronic pain.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x918ba48c) out of 5 stars Cognitive therapy excellent but there is more to pain than thought errors. 26 April 2011
By ceejay - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It is so very important to consider the 'errors in thinking' that this book delves into in regards to living with chronic pain. My main issue with this, or any book like it, is that it helps perpetrate the myth that a change in our thinking is what is needed to get many of us to have less pain. If we have trigeminal neuralgia, like I do, or RSD, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, etc, it definitely is worthwhile to look at how our thinking habits may make us less able but it is not enough.
If you want to know what it is like to live with daily pain, you might want to read A PAINED LIFE, a chronic pain journey.A Pained Life.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90b56414) out of 5 stars How not to learn cognitive therapy 10 Dec. 2012
By Sydney Blake - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Hard to visualize what is going on. I think that a DVD would have been more appropriate. I am miserable trying to learn this topic.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90880ed0) out of 5 stars Fantastic book 15 Dec. 2011
By author - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the best pain therapy book I've come across. Designed for group therapy, it can be used by individuals. This book is suitable for professionals and for those with minimal understanding of Cognitive Therapy.
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