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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT )is now a well known therapy for many different health problems, including chronic pain and other chronic illnesses. This is because physical health problems can affect people’s moods and their lives in so many different and distressing ways.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that aims to help you manage your problems by changing how you think and act, and showing people how to recognize and change unhelpful ways of thinking and behaving. This allows them to be less affected by unhelpful moods and to enjoy life more, even if they still have pain. Over the last couple of decades cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has become an accepted first line psychosocial treatment which can help patients to deal with chronic pain, including low back pain.

The NHS add it to their talking therapies list which are offered in different ways, including

  • using a self-help workbook with the support of a therapist
  • as an online course
  • over the phone
  • one-to-one
  • in a group

At its simplest, it is a technique for helping people replace habitual negative thinking with positive thinking, by getting them to see the glass as half full not half empty.

CBT encourages you to talk about:

  • how you think about yourself, the world and other people 
  • how what you do affects your thoughts and feelings 

By talking about these things, CBT can help you to change how you think (‘cognitive’) and what you do (‘behaviour’), which can help you feel better about life. 

It’s now available on the NHS and CBT usually involves weekly or fortnightly sessions with a therapist. The number of sessions required varies greatly depending on your problems and objectives, with treatment usually lasting from six weeks to six months.

One patient said, ‘I was able to move forward and learn to cope and accept my pain. They taught me how to pace myself better and that in turn meant I was able to laugh again a bit more often, instead of just thinking about my pain all the time’.

The best way to try CBT for chronic pain is to talk to your GP first who will have a list of professional CBT therapists. They can then point you in the right direction for getting your treatment. Of course, there are waiting lists for this type of treatment on the NHS but you could always see someone privately.

Source: NHS

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If you are reading this blog then there is a good chance that you are a blogger or someone who likes writing. Not necessarily regularly or even an author but someone who likes to put pen to paper.

I have always loved writing and in fact in my late teens and my run to taking my GCSE’s I would write pages and pages on each subject in the hope it would stay in my memory better. Unfortunately, it did not work that way for me but friends have told me I would write the same subject out quite a few times. I was also away at Boarding School where Sunday’s were letter-writing days. I loved writing letters so much that I had a competition with a friend to see who could write the most pages. I wrote 49 pages and still have that letter today.

I love to sit in my little den/office/craft room that I have created for myself and look out of the window across the never ending fields and put pen to paper. I have never-written a fiction story but I have written one called A Little Book On Tea, Cake and Chocolate: TEA pairings, TEA and chocolate, TEA and its health benefits plus over 100 tips on BAKING cakes where I took most of the chapters and articles from my Afternoon Tea4Two Blog, I also wrote another which is well and truly ready for a revamp which is called Complementary & Alternative Therapies for Pain: Your guide to over 50 treatments for pain relief and again I took all the information from this blog.

I love making lists and I love nice books to write the lists in and can never have enough pretty books around the house available to write anything I think of in them. I think writing is underestimated as being something that gives you something back straight away. It helps you to sit and think about anything and everything. It takes you to another place for a while. It is a bit reflective in a strange kind of way.

I can only write in a room that is quiet. All I can hear at the moment is the clock ticking on the wall and the roaring winds outside. If you have never written before a great way to start is to buy a Mindfulness Daily Journal like this one from Amazon which is only £5.59 and has

  • 150 Pages-2 Pages Per Day-For Practicing 75 Days Daily Mindfulness
  • Morning Routine include with “Today’s Positive Affirmation”, Today’s Personal Goal”, “Today’s Intention”, “5 Things I am Grateful For” and “Mindfulness Exercise” sections.
  • Evening Routine Include With “This Went Well Today”, “5 Things I Am Proud Of”, “This Made Me Feel Happy”, “My Thoughts About Today” Sections

This book is so pretty to have around and it will inspire you to pick it up, you could use it to jot down what you want to achieve on any particular day. An awful lot of people think they have to be authors to write but this is simply not true. Writing for health has been known to increase self-understanding and empathy and gives us the excuse to enter into a creative state and improve our health.

If you think about how many times you text every day which is the same as writing except your typing it onto a phone. When your writing for yourself you do not need to worry about if the sentence is grammatically correct. My grammar is pretty awful really. Psychologists regularly recommend writing practices to their clients. Simply writing down your struggles can help as you can look at it clearly in black and white and might think of a way of doing something differently that might make life a lot easier for you. Even writing lists or diary entries or blog posts can be very therapeutic, it is just putting pen to paper.

My husband thinks I should write about my life in pain and how I have coped with it. I have started it but then I start something else and it goes on the back boiler again but even if its just something to be handed down the family line in years to come it might well interest a family member.

The Gateway to Mental Health Services write “Writing is a medicine for your mind. Whenever you feel mentally and emotionally exhausted, writing down the things that bother you will help you structure your thoughts and bring peace to your mind. Research shows not only how writing just for 20 minutes a day can help your mental health, but how well it teaches you to be in the moment and acknowledge your feeling“.

So, what are you waiting for? Have you started a journal, a book, a blog and felt the benefit of writing it? I would love to hear from you and write about your story on ‘writing for health’.