Emotional awareness and expression therapy has a significant effect on pain severity

Takeaway

  • Emotional awareness and expression therapy (EAET) resulted in significantly lower pain severity at both post-treatment and three-month follow-up compared to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Why this matters

    Chronic pain is a substantial healthcare challenge. The opioid crisis in the US has prompted a guideline shift to promoting psychological treatments as first-line interventions for chronic pain. Yet leading psychosocial treatments, such as CBT, demonstrate only a modest pain reduction in a minority of patients. The results reported herein lend support to a paradigm shift in chronic pain treatment towards a primary focus on brain and emotional processes.