Here's an interesting little study showing that acute physical pain is diminished in intensity when one is looking at the affected body part; if this body part is artificially made to look larger, then the subjective pain is reduced even further.
In applying this type of idea to psychological pain, I guess one could say that "looking at the affected body part" could translate to discussing the problem in a therapeutic dialog.
A limitation of the study, and with pain studies in general, is that a brief intervention for an acute pain may not necessarily be equivalently helpful as a prolonged intervention for a chronic pain. In fact, some effective physical treatments for acute pain potentially exacerbate a chronic or recurrent pain disorder (e.g. using opiates to treat mechanical back pain or migraine).
However, I believe that studies of this type do illustrate that simple, brief psychological techniques can be surprisingly powerful in modulating perceptions or sensation.