Pain Management Resources

managing Chronic pain: A Cognitive Behavioral therapy Approach

Writtten by Dr. John Otis, Managing Chronic Pain is a synthesis of over 20 years of experience working with patients who have a range of complex chronic pain diagnoses. The therapist guide is designed to be used by psychotherapists engaged in the treatment of individuals with chronic pain. It is written from a cognitive-behavioral perspective, as this approach has been found to be highly effective when working with patients who have chronic pain. An emphasis is placed on behavioral activation and changing negative thoughts associated with pain. This manual is evidence-based, is currently being used on a number of NIH funded clinical trials involving CBT, and incorporates those aspects of pain management that have yielded the most positive clinical outcomes.

Throughout the text, examples are included that have been found to resonate with patients who have pain. Sample dialogues are provided to assist the therapist in presenting key information to the patient.


Patient workbook

The therapist guide and corresponding workbook are organized by session, and include educational materials and homework forms. The workbook contains all of the homework assignments and forms needed by a patient. Session content is summarized so that patients can review any topic at home. The workbook is also useful for conducting pain management groups.



I Can Relax! A relaxation CD for Children

Created by Dr Donna Pincus, the I Can Relax! CD focuses on teaching children relaxation skills while also promoting positive self-image. The I Can Relax! CD features the voice of Dr. Pincus along with music and sound effects. The I Can Relax! CD is appropriate for children ages 4 to 12.



downloadable Forms:

Link to Cycle of Pain

Link to Cognitive Errors

Link to Cognitive Restructuring

Link to Hypothesis Testing

Link to Sleep Hygiene

pain Links:

American Chronic Pain Association

American Pain Society

WebMD Pain Management Health Center

Pain Journals:


Pain Medicine

Journal of Pain

European Journal of Pain

Children and Anxiety

The Child Anxiety Network

More general information on CBT

Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies

Australian Association for Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy

British Association for Behavoiural & Cognitive Psychotherapies

Canadian Association of Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies

European Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies

Website References

  • Bair MJ, Robinson RL, Katon W, Kroenke K. Depression and pain comorbidity: a literature review.Arch Intern Med. 2003;163(20):2433–2445. [PubMed]
  • Gatchel RJ. Comorbidity of chronic pain and mental health disorders: the biopsychosocial perspective.Am Psychol. 2004;59(8):795–805. [PubMed]
  • Gaskin DJ, Richard P. The Economic Costs of Pain in the United States. In: Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Advancing Pain Research, Care, and Education. Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2011. Appendix C. Available from:
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Fact book fiscal year 2010. Bethesda, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; 2011.