Psychological Services

Psychology and Patients With Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can have effects that go far beyond the physical feeling of pain. People who have chronic pain may see effects of pain that limit their ability to work, exercise, spend time with friends and family, sleep, and even manage their emotional health. 

Many people feel like their pain has taken away part of their lives. Psychology – as the study of how people think, feel, and act – can be helpful in minimizing pain’s impact on a person’s daily life. 

Most patients referred to our psychology department in Indianapolis are there because their physicians would like to see them able to function better in their daily lives. Our psychology team, led by Chief Psychologist and Director of Clinical Training for Psychological Services, Dr. Ari Dean Gleckman, helps individuals and groups of people living with chronic pain find ways to get the most out of their lives, even if they’re living with pain that traditional medical treatments cannot resolve. Dr. Gleckman will be guiding the Psychology Department as it expands and enhances its services so that our patients can experience holistic results. Patients who participate in services can expect to gain a comprehensive repertoire of tools to help them reduce suffering and increase their quality of life.

Man in bed with head in hands not being able to sleep

About Pain Psychological Services

We use a “biopsychosocial” approach to pain, meaning that we view pain as something that impacts not only a person’s body and movements, but also their thoughts, feelings, decisions, and relationships. Unlike traditional therapy, pain-focused psychotherapy looks at how each person can use their thoughts, feelings, and decisions together to help manage their pain. Dr. Gleckman is building the Psychology Department to be a source of truly integrated care. He believes the best psychological care incorporates physical, spiritual, and emotional interventions. We offer individual and group pain-focused psychological treatments to help people develop skills for managing pain to the fullest extent possible. Dr. Gleckman works alongside psychology residents to provide not only individual and group-based therapy but also couples psychotherapy, completing evaluations for implantable devices and a variety of other interventional procedures, and any necessary support services requested by the team.

We also work with the medical staff to make sure that individuals referred for placement of a neurostimulation device or a pain pump get the best possible results from the surgery. The pain psychologist will meet with patients to gather information on their pain, medical history, mental health history, and social history. This information helps our staff identify potential surgical risks, and ensures that patients are prepared for their procedure. (Please be aware that if you are referred for this service you are likely to be at the clinic for up to 3 hours total). 

What to Expect

When you meet with pain psychology staff, we will spend time getting to know you and the pain-related factors that most impact your life. We will work together to identify strategies to manage your pain most effectively, especially in areas that are most likely to limit you from living your life to the fullest. Some areas of focus may include: how to make healthy lifestyle changes more manageable, increasing physical activity in a way that gives you the most function with the least pain, and decreasing the impact of pain on other health conditions.

If your needs go beyond the services provided at Center for Pain Management, Dr. Gleckman is connected to a vast network of exceptional mental health providers in the community. He is able to offer referrals to these providers to assist patients who require specialized treatments, including:

  • Psychiatry
  • Psychology
  • Addictions
  • Eating disorders
  • Trauma
  • Developmental disorders
  • A range of other conditions

Available Resources

Pain psychologists consider biological, psychological, and social contributors to pain and use these to determine ways to improve your pain management. Pain psychologists treat the whole person, not just the site of the pain. We work collaboratively with patients to reduce the impact of stress and other factors on your pain, so that patients can create a life worth living despite their pain. By helping to optimize patients’ pain management, pain psychologists can help improve mood, lessen pain, and reduce the impact of pain on your mental health and social relationships.

Schedule Your Consultation
Take Control of Your Pain

While chronic pain is not likely to “heal” in a traditional sense, that doesn’t mean people are stuck where they are. Pain-focused psychological services can help as part of the whole-person approach to pain care – we want to treat all of the factors that contribute to pain.

If you need psychological support for your chronic pain condition, please call us today: (317) 706-7246.

CFP General Contact Us Form

While not required, your answers to the following questions may help us process your consultation request more quickly:

Where is your pain? How long have you been in pain? Days/weeks/months/years? Do you have a diagnosis already, and if so, what is it? Have you had a previous surgery that failed to relieve your pain?

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