Cognitive Behavior Therapy seems to be growing in popularity for CFS and Fibromyalgia patients. Researchers are starting to lean more toward CBT as an additional method to help relieve painful symptoms.
A therapist using this technique can teach you how to control disturbing emotional reactions by suggesting more effective ways of interpreting and thinking about your experiences. For example, if you make a mistake at work, you might say to yourself, I am the most stupid person in the world! I always make mistakes!
The therapist would point out that you do not always make mistakes and that everyone makes mistakes and feels foolish at one time or another. The behavioral aspect of this therapy asks you to note your mood or feelings when you are thinking these thoughts.
Painful emotions such as guilt, shame, and anxiety can aggravate pain and your Fibromyalgia. We are our thoughts. Negative thinking produces negative behavior. Some research suggests negative thinking causes illness. If negative thinking causes illness, can positive thinking create health?
There are many researchers who believe this is possible. If this idea sounds foolish to you, and you decide it would never benefit your…symptoms, you are probably feeling skeptical and discouraged or maybe even angry. Your pain level may increase as you are having these thoughts. On the other hand, if this sounds like a great idea to you, you may feel an uplift in your mood. If you pay attention to your body at the same time, you may notice a slight decrease in your pain level. Our bodies react immediately to our emotions. If we can control our thoughts, maybe we can control our bodies.
CBT treatment typically lasts for six to 20 weeks and requires you to keep track of symptoms, thoughts, and emotions. You will be given homework assignments to work on between sessions. Cognitive behavioral therapy is not in-depth psychotherapy.