Pain psychiatry

Chronic pain, or pain that is present for long periods of time or recurring, often causes much more than just physical distress. It can also bring about mental and emotional suffering, which in turn can lead to more and more physical pain.

At the Centre for Pain Medicine, our psychiatrists seek to recognise potential psychological problems, and if possible, link these problems to the patient’s chronic pain. Pain patients are extremely likely to suffer from psychological illnesses such as depression, anxiety or personality disorders, while nearly two-thirds are affected by severe sleep disturbances. Above all, the vicious cycle of pain, fear and depression must be recognised quickly and treated in a multidimensional fashion. Many psychiatric illnesses are intrinsic to chronic pain. These illnesses must be diagnosed and treated in an appropriate manner. 

Patientengespräch im Zentrum für Schmerzmediziin


Modern pain therapy

Modern pain therapy has evolved from past models based entirely on physical treatments to new “multimodal” therapeutic approaches. Multimodal therapy simultaneously combines physical, psychological and social treatments, and thus corresponds to the “biopsychosocial” pain and therapy model. As per this model, a psychotherapeutic (see “pain psychotherapy”) and/or psychiatric assessment with treatment are indispensable to the successful treatment of chronic pain. 

Our treatment offers

  • During a chronic pain consultation at the Centre for Pain Medicine Nottwil, a psychiatrist performs an in-depth assessment of the patient’s psychological status, personality (especially with regard to the patient’s life and medical history) and social and mental characteristics such as individual risk factors, workplace behaviour and manner of dealing with problems and stress. If necessary, questionnaires, screening instruments and scales are used by the psychiatrist to gain additional information.

  • If psychiatric treatment is recommended, this treatment can be done at the Centre for Pain Medicine. You may also choose a psychiatrist who practises near your own particular location. The goal of psychiatric treatment is to provide you with tailor-made psychopharmacotherapy that works with your other medications, and that are not only effective at bringing about the desired mental change but also have a positive effect on the way you experience and process your pain. You can also take advantage of individual and/or group psychotherapy while receiving pain psychotherapy at the Centre. 

Our specialist

  • Sven Brockmüller, M.D., MSc in interdisciplinary pain medicine

    Head of Psychiatric and Psychological Pain Medicine

    Psychiatric and Psychological Pain Medicine Management
    Head of Psychiatry, Senior Neurologist CPM
    Specialist in Neurology, Psychiatry and
    Psychotherapy (D)
    Pain Specialist (SGSS)
    Special pain therapy (A)