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Digital Seminar

2-Day Chronic Pain Course: Behavioral Treatment and Assessment

Robert Rosenbaum, PhD
12 Hours 34 Minutes
Apr 11, 2019
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Digital Seminar
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Another client enters your office angry about the chronic pain they struggle with daily. They start sharing their story and the mask of frustration peels away to reveal the hopelessness and despair from living in a constant state of misery. Most clinicians are not trained in chronic pain, yet this scenario is becoming all too familiar, as at least 1/3 of our clients suffer from chronic pain. More and more clients are moving away from medication, seeking out holistic solutions, yet we’re not quite sure of the best way to help them.

Imagine helping your clients learn that while pain might be unavoidable, misery is optional. Strengthen the therapeutic relationship by validating the reality of clients’ pain while introducing ways to help them immediately experience a lessening of their distress. Explore acupressure and meditation to help clients discover how mind and body are connected.

In this recording, neuropsychologist, Dr. Robert Rosenbaum, will teach you the facts about pains’ biology and effective treatment strategies, so you can confidently educate and treat your clients. With experiential exercises such as guided imagery, acupressure, meditation, and gentle movement, combined with cognitive-behavioural methods, you’ll leave with the right skills and tools at your fingertips to treat chronic pain.


- PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This online program is worth 12.5 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.



Robert Rosenbaum, PhD's Profile

Robert Rosenbaum, PhD Related seminars and products

Robert Rosenbaum, Ph.D., has 30 years’ experience as a neuropsychologist, psychotherapist and behavioral medicine specialist. In addition to his numerous journal articles and book chapters on brief psychotherapy, he is also the author of the books Zen and the Heart of Psychotherapy; Walking the Way: 81 Zen Encounters with the Tao Te Ching and co-editor of What's Wrong with Mindfulness (and what isn't). He is entrusted as a Zen teacher by Sojun Roshi of Berkeley and San Francisco Zen Centers and as a senior teacher of Dayan (Wild Goose) Qigong by Master Hui Liu of the Wen Wu School.

Dr. Rosenbaum worked for over 26 years at Kaiser Permanente clinics in California, where at various times he was chief psychologist, head of the neuropsychological assessment program, developed the mindfulness-based behavioral portion of the chronic pain management program in Kaiser Oakland and started the first programs of Dayan Qigong (which subsequently spread to medical clinics throughout California). He also did research on brief psychotherapy, single-session therapy and psychotherapy integration.

In addition, he has been a Fulbright Professor at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in India, the director of the doctoral training program at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and a consultant on brief psychotherapy to clinics and academic institutions in Australia, Japan, and Canada. Whenever he can, he spends several months a year hiking in the Sierras and the Himalayas.


Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Robert Rosenbaum receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Robert Rosenbaum has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.


  1. Explore strategies on how to prevent pain before it begins for purposes of client psychoeducation.
  2. Explain the importance of early intervention in the pain cycle and its clinical implications.
  3. Identify the most common pain complaints as related to clinical treatment.
  4. Describe how age, gender, ethnicity, and culture influence the experience of pain as it relates to case conceptualization.
  5. Distinguish how different types of pain require different treatment approaches.
  6. Correlate how the brain, the mind, and the heart all affect pain for purposes of client psychoeducation.
  7. Examine and counter maladaptive myths about pain to improve client level of functioning.
  8. Assess pain through specialized questionnaires and interview methods to inform the clinician’s choice of treatment interventions.
  9. Demonstrate four meditation methods useful for dealing with pain in session.
  10. Discover six acupressure points helpful for pain prevention and management in clients.
  11. Implement clinical methods to help clients concretize their pain and use guided imagery to alleviate pain.
  12. Identify existential, spiritual, and self-identity issues which interact with biological and psychological components of pain as it relates to treatment outcomes.


Impact of Chronic Pain on Mental Health

Primary Prevention

  • The best treatment is prevention
  • Early detection and early intervention

Pain Prevalence and Impact

  • Incidence and prevalence: most common types
  • Societal costs
  • Impact on client mental health and quality of life

Sociodemographic factors

The Biology of Pain

  • What is pain?
    • Physical, emotional, psychological, and environmental factors
    • Pain intensity vs pain distress
  • Types of Pain
    • Nociceptive and neuropathic
    • Effect of location
    • Aetiology, temporal course, sensation
    • Inflammation, cancer, Ischemic
    • Acute vs chronic pain
  • Pain transmission and modulation
  • Neurochemicals of pain
  • Pain, Brain, Strain
    • Central sensitization
    • The role of attention
  • Pain: Beyond Basic Biology
    • Biopsychosocial model
    • Vicious circles of maladaptive coping strategies
    • Psychological and emotional aspects of pain
    • Pain’s effect on the sense of self
    • Countering pain myths

Assessment, Interventions, and Management

Pain Treatment Options

  • Medications and medical procedures
  • Introduction to analgesics
  • Opioids – Myths and Facts

The opioid epidemic

  • Opioid efficacy, risks
  • Tolerance vs. addiction
  • Risk of addiction and abuse


  • Basic guidelines
  • The interview
  • Psychometric instruments
  • Pain vs. distress

Behavioural Treatment

  • Technique vs. relationship
  • Mindfulness and other meditations
    • The hype and the reality
    • Focuses and open awareness
    • Breathing techniques: four methods
  • Comfort strategies: You Are Bigger than the Pain
    • Awareness
    • Importance of early detection
    • Concretizing with imagery and names
  • Re-Focus
    • Widening and narrowing attention
    • Going distal; going to the centre
    • Imagery and self-hypnosis
  • Re-thinking
    • CBT for catastrophizing
    • Separate pain from distress
    • Deal with flares
  • Additional behavioural treatment tools
    • Pacing
    • Gentle movement
    • The importance of face, hands, feet
    • Acupressure self-massage
    • Qigong for pain
    • Sleep and rest
  • Enjoy
    • Cultivating positives
    • Antidotes for difficult emotions
    • Increasing emotional granularity
  • Relate
    • Foster positive relationships
    • Deal with difficult relationships

Differential treatment considerations

Outcomes of integrative interventions

Research limitations and risks of psychotherapeutic approaches

Target Audience

  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Counselors
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Psychotherapists
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants
  • Physical Therapists
  • Physical Therapy Assistants
  • Nurses
  • Nurse Practitioners

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