Chronic pain is one of the most difficult conditions to endure – it can affect every aspect of your life, from your physical function and mental concentration to your mood and relationships. At Allied Pain & Spine Institute, we harness the medical knowledge and technology available to provide our patients with the most innovative pain management treatments available. One of the treatments that is recommended for many of our patients with chronic pain is acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). Here are some frequently asked questions about ACT, so you can determine if it may be right for you.
What is ACT?
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a type of psychotherapy, or talk therapy, that is based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) methods. ACT uses the principles of accepting unwanted or painful symptoms instead of suppressing them. The idea is for the patient to accept the symptoms of chronic pain or other disorders like anxiety and commit to focusing on positive actions toward values or goals despite the symptoms.
Is Every ACT Program the Same?
ACT is designed to be tailored to the individual, specifically targeting their distressing symptoms and personal values/goals. ACT is used for mental health disorders, but it has also been found to be very effective in chronic pain patients. The tools learned in therapy can help patients overcome their psychological reaction to their pain and focus on what they want to achieve. While ACT programs use similar methods and philosophies, each is customized to the patient.
Can ACT Be Used with Other Pain Management Treatments?
At Allied Pain & Spine Institute, we utilize ACT as one of the treatments to help our patients with chronic pain, but it is almost always used in tandem with other medical treatments. Our goal is to eliminate chronic pain whenever possible, but not all pain disorders can be cured or completely controlled. ACT is a tool to help our patients live a more enjoyable, fulfilling life, even with chronic pain.
If you are living with chronic pain and want to explore innovative pain management options, contact us for an appointment at Allied Pain & Spine Institute – we have clinics in San Jose and throughout the Bay Area.
Posted on behalf of Dr. James Petros, Allied Pain & Spine Institute