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Manchester Centre for CBT

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What is CBT pain management?

Cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT) for pain management is based upon a CBT model of pain developed through extensive research with patients experiencing physical pain.
Here at Manchester Centre for CBT our Pain Management Programme (PMP) is an evidence based approach which aims to assist participants learn how to manage their experiences of pain in more helpful and productive ways.
The central concept of our approach is the notion that pain is a complex experience that is not only influenced by its underlying physical experience, but also by an individuals' thoughts/images, feelings and behavior.

Our approach to CBT for pain management has the following basic elements:

  • a treatment rationale that helps clients understand that thoughts/images and behavior can affect the pain experience

  • emphasis on the role that clients can play in controlling their own pain.

What is the Pain Management Programme (PMP)?

Our programme teaches coping skills training through a wide variety of cognitive and behavioral pain coping strategies:


Relaxation training techniques, guided imagery and cued relaxation.

Activity pacing and pleasant activity scheduling are used to help patients increase the level and range of their activities and return to more `normal’ activities and levels of activity in a helpful way.


Training in distraction techniques such as pleasant imagery, counting methods, and use of a focal point helps clients learn to divert their attention away from episodes of severe pain.

Cognitive restructuring is used to help patients identify and challenge overly negative pain-related thoughts/images and to replace these thoughts/images with more helpful coping thoughts/images.

Problem solving methods are taught to enable clients to consider and develop plans for dealing with sudden pain episodes and other challenging situations.

Specific techniques to maintain what has been learnt whilst attending the PMP are also taught.


How are clients referred?

Clients can be referred by their GP, Case Manager or be self-referred.


What happens following referral?

Initially clients will have a short telephone assessment consultation with the Pain Management Programme (PMP) lead therapist to ensure the PMP has the potential to assist in developing skills to manage pain. Following this initial assessment we offer small group sessions of 4 to 12 patients that are held weekly for 8 weeks. Each small group session last about 2 hours.

The groups are typically led by a therapist.

Initial assessment sessions take place at our consulting room at 518 Wilmslow Road, Withington, Manchester M20 4BT.

PMP group sessions usually take place in the Didsbury/Withington area at a suitable venue.


How much does it cost?


Please contact us to discuss any question you have including our current charges. Please telephone 0845 052 3949 or email info@cbt-centre.co.uk