You can find the hardcover, paperback, and ebook versions here or wherever you buy your booksThe Institute has provided those living with chronic pain, their family members and their providers evidence-based digestible information about chronic pain for over ten years. We are pleased to be publishing How to Have Hope When There Is No Cure: A Comprehensive Guide to Chronic Pain Rehabilitation. This groundbreaking book is the culmination of decades of work by our late founder, Dr. Murray J McAllister, PsyD, and serves as the pinnacle of our mission; to make pain management more effective by changing the culture of how chronic pain is treated. With the publication of this book, we will no longer be adding new content to our website or social channels, but current content will remain available.
All or nothing thinking is one of the most common, problematic ways of coping with pain. It’s right up there with catastrophizing, fear-avoidance, and refusing to accept the chronicity of pain. All of these problems prevent people from coping with pain well and being able to live a full life despite having chronic pain. Since we have reviewed the other problematic ways of coping with pain in previous posts, let’s discuss all or nothing thinking today.
No, this post isn't about telepathy. It’s about a common problem faced by people with chronic pain and how to overcome it.
Mind reading defined
The phrase “mind reading” is a piece of technical jargon used in cognitive behavioral therapy and chronic pain rehabilitation programs. It refers to a particular type of thinking in which a person thinks that other people are judging him or her even though the other people might not ever say anything.
It’s not uncommon to exclaim, at the beginning of a pain flare, “I’m not going to be able to stand it!” Another might express, “Now, I’m not going to be able to do anything today!” Yet, another takes it as a given that the increased pain is an indicator that the underlying health problem is getting worse. From this assumption, it’s easy to start thinking about how the future holds nothing but increasing disability, wheelchairs, and suffering.
These sentiments are examples of catastrophizing.
“Thank you. I’m so grateful to all of you. You’ve given me my life back… but why did it take so long for me to be referred to this program?” This series of statements, along with the concluding question, is…
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a traditional form of therapy that is used for a great many types of health conditions. Historically beginning in the 1970’s, it was first used as treatments for chronic pain and depression,1, 2 but later applied to…
People are sometimes surprised that there are psychologists who are not mental health providers. It’s also true for people with persistent pain who might wonder why their physician referred them to a psychologist for the management of pain. ‘I’m not…
You’d think that we’d all agree on what back pain is. Pain in the low back is almost as common as days of the week. Most everyone has had or will have back pain in the course of their lives…
Twenty some odd years ago, the American Academy of Pain Medicine and the American Pain Society, two large pain-related professional organizations, teamed up to agree upon what it means to have both chronic pain and be addicted to opioid pain…