iCBT Program for Chronic Pain

Module 1. What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) combines cognitive and behavioural therapies and demonstrates strong support for treating mood, anxiety disorders, and pain.

The basic idea of CBT is that emotions are difficult to change, so CBT targets emotions by changing thoughts and behaviours that are contributing to these distressing emotions.

CBT builds a set of skills that allows an individual to be aware of thoughts and emotions; identify how situations, thoughts, and behaviours influence emotions, and improve feelings by changing dysfunctional thoughts and behaviours.

CBT skill acquisition is collaborative. Skill acquisition and homework are what set CBT apart from “talk therapies.”

woman sitting outdoors

How can CBT benefit you?

CBT helps participants examine and understand their lives.

It teaches us that perceptions or thoughts can shape feelings and behaviours (how we think is how we feel).

Throughout this program you will explore the areas of pain, negative thinking, exercise, stress, relaxation, relationships, and more!

Each module will help you recognize your own behaviours and thoughts, and teach you to turn negative patterns into positive ones.

In each section you will have lessons in CBT with the help of the guided program, and will be provided interactive activities to complete in the online workbook provided.

At the end of each module there will be a chance for you to put teaching into action and get practical experience of the ideas explored.

What is a SMART goal?

The best way to begin anything is with a goal. However – your goal should always be SMART:
Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Based.

SMART goals

Make a list of goals you would like to achieve by the end of the program.

Write them down on paper.

The goals should be challenging, but within your abilities! Something outside your comfort zone, but realistic.

The goals should pertain to what you want to accomplish. In this case, something you want to improve on in your behaviours or thoughts.

Set a deadline for your goals! Try to complete your goals by the end of this 8 week program.

How can you measure the progress of your goals?

Example: Keep track of thoughts or behavioural changes in a log book.


S: I will be able to run 1 km without taking a break.
M: I will run 3 times a week.
A: If I don’t have time to do 3 runs a week, I will decrease the amount of time but increase the speed.
R: I am capable of achieving this goal.
T: This goal will be achieved in 3 months.

Broad Goal:
I want to improve my pain, and start exercising like I used to. I used to be a runner, so I want to get back into it.
I will run 1 km continuously at the end of a 3-month training period by running 3 times a week. This will help my mobility and decrease my pain.

Homework for Module 1

Please, download and print the homework for Module 1. It is essential to finish your homework before you start the next Module.

Click here to download the Homework for Module 1

One last thing for Module 1….

Post your goals somewhere where you and others will see them every day! Maybe on the refrigerator, on your desk, on a water bottle, or a bathroom mirror.

Exercises for Different Areas of Pain from Wilderman Medical Clinic

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