Online CBT for Managing Chronic Pain - How It Works

Managing Chronic Pain with CBT

Managing chronic pain can be challenging. And it can also be tricky to find the right method. However, if you suffer from pain on a daily basis, it’s important to find effective ways to manage pain to improve your quality of life. If pain is left unmanaged, chronic pain may lead to a number of symptoms such as decreased mobility, difficulty sleeping, increased stress levels, depression and anxiety. 

Chronic pain is emerging as an increasingly pervasive issue, affecting people from all walks of life. Long-term pain from a sports injury, back pain from a sedentary lifestyle or simply the effects of old age, more people than ever are seeking relief and searching for effective solutions to regain their quality of life. The British Pain Society has instigated research that has revealed a truly astounding statistic: Chronic pain affects more than two-fifths of the UK population, meaning that around 28 million adults are living with and managing chronic pain that has lasted for three months or longer. For some people, pain can be so intense it negatively impacts every part of their life, including relationships, work and personal growth. 

There are options available to alleviate and manage pain that aren’t painkillers. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) offers another treatment option for someone living in pain. It doesn’t treat the pain itself but rather involves addressing negative thinking patterns and behaviours that contribute to how pain is experienced, perceived and responded to. Developing this awareness can work towards helping someone reclaim a degree of control over daily activities and provide the education needed to reduce suffering. 

Onebright explores how online CBT can be a transformative tool in managing pain levels if there are mobility issues restricting access to quality treatment options.  

How does an online CBT therapist treat pain?

Online CBT therapy works the same as face-to-face therapy but is tailored for remote delivery via digital platforms. The core principles and techniques remain consistent. Online therapy offers:

  • Support and confidentiality 
  • Licenced therapists
  • Affordability 
  • Real-time therapy over an online platform 
  • Session notes for review 


For many people living with chronic pain, the ability to access treatment through remote CBT has been an option they might not have ever considered before. Convenient access to licensed therapists gives people more options to try treatments that won’t be limited to what is within travelling distance to, while also providing flexibility when scheduling sessions. 

How many sessions of CBT do I need to treat chronic pain?

CBT is a highly individualised form of treatment and will include a customised plan for your specific needs. Generally, 8-10 sessions once or twice a week will be enough to help manage pain, but other factors will also be considered, such as: 

  • Duration of your pain – How long you’ve been suffering from pain and current pain management strategies 
  • Any underlying psychological issues – Issues such as anxiety and depression that can affect pain processing 
  • The complexity of the condition – Different illnesses that produce specific types of pain 
  • Pain intensity – How intense the pain is 
  • The number and depth of topics covered during each session – You may feel you want a more in-depth treatment 
  • Session length – Therapists will recommend and discuss session length options.


The number of CBT sessions required also depends on an individual’s level of commitment and consistency. CBT isn’t a cure-all option, but when followed correctly, it can make a significant difference in pain management by helping you develop new coping strategies.

Is CBT effective for treating pain?

Numerous statistics show positive results for specific types of pain. One Research study that included 89 patients showed that CBT helped reduce the intensity and frequency of chronic pain. It also improved the day-to-day functioning and quality of life for individuals with chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, headache, and back pain. 

Talk to Onebright about therapy for pain management

Dealing with long-term chronic pain can seem like a constant uphill battle. However, with the right help and support, individuals can feel empowered through clinical techniques to manage their pain on a day-by-day basis. Utilising CBT can change negative thinking patterns to more hopeful ones, allowing people who are managing chronic pain in their day-to-day lives to confidently show up for themselves and others, refusing to let pain hold them back.

Related Articles
Onebright mental health
Learn more about pain management
Read more
CBT for Intrusive Thoughts
What is chronic pain?
Read more
OCD Can Be Beaten If You Let Yourself Go
CBT for persistent pain
Read article
Get in Touch

Want to talk to us about managing chronic pain?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.