The computer metaphor of programming out all pain-related behaviors and programming in all comfort and control-related behaviors is a useful one. All the behavior that the patient associates with pain will be programmed out, and all behaviors that the patient associates with being comfortable and in control, both physically and emotionally, will be programmed in. A very good posthypnotic cue can also be used to reinforce this so that while the patient is in a normal waking state he may use a cue such as touching his right ear, which tells his unconscious mind to program in that positive comfortable behavior. If the situation he is in produces pain, tension or discomfort, he can touch his left shoulder, which is the unconscious cue for the unconscious mind to remember to program that behavior out. The exception to this, of course, is to always remind the patient that the unconscious mind will allow him to have pain that will keep him safe from injury, or that might prove beneficial for med ical diagnosis. My emphasis with all of these pain patients is to emphasize and reinforce the fact that they are gaining more and more control of the pain, and that the pain is less and less in control of them.
Was this article helpful?