Simona Bujoreanu, PhD: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Managing Chronic Pain

Dr. Bujoreanu explains how treatments like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can have a positive impact on chronic pain in pediatric patients.

There are numerous psychological treatments that can be utilized when dealing with chronic pain. Simona Bujoreanu, PhD, Pediatric Psychologist, Pain Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital, Associate Director, Comfort Ability Program, Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School, elaborated on a few of these approaches.

One of the treatments she mentioned was Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). According to Bujoreanu, this therapy takes a problem-solving approach to identifying and understanding problems and then relating to them from a cognitive and emotional perspective.

These aspects are examined to see how they impact an individual's behavior, and similarly, how behavior can impact the way an individual thinks.

"Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is tremendously powerful," Bujoreanu said.

There's also a component of psycho-education, and the empowerment of individuals to understand what's going on with their body and how the mind functions, Bujoreanu explained.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a newer approach that has research-based foundations for treatment of chronic pain in adults and is becoming more prevalent among the pediatric population, according to Bujoreanu.

This therapy focuses on living a meaningful life while in the presence of challenges like chronic pain. These topics are discussed in Bujoreanu's presentation: Tools to Tackle Chronic Pain Syndromes for the American Academy of Pediatrics conference.

"I'm very excited about the amazing support and evidence that comes from using empirically based psychological treatments in complementing the medical and physical treatment of chronic pain," Bujoreanu said.