Back to the Basics: The Role of Psychology in Pain

Our nation's opioid epidemic has caused many patients, clinicians, and payers to seek nonpharmacologic options to assist with managing pain. Psychology has a well-established role in the treatment of pain conditions but familiarity with this subject matter varies widely. It important for clinicians treating pain to have an awareness of the role of psychology in the etiology, maintenance, and treatment of pain and to be able to apply this knowledge in the delivery of clinical care. The session will feature an introduction to pain and an explanation of the evolution of the opioid crisis. We will examine factors known to affect pain, including adverse childhood events and psychosocial variables. Although cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) based interventions are the most frequently studied and applied treatment paradigms, other lesser known approaches also have demonstrated efficacy in pain care. Thus, CBT for pain will be discussed, followed by a brief overview of biofeedback training, mindfulness based stress reduction, acceptance and commitment therapy, and emotional awareness and expression therapy.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the differences between acute and chronic pain
  • Describe the role of interdisciplinary care in chronic pain management
  • Identify evidence-based psychological interventions used to treat chronic pain conditions

Additional Information

Tarsus Medical Education
State Relevance: 
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AANP Contact Hours
  • 1.00 ACPE Pharmacy
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
  • 1.00 ANCC
  • 1.00 APA
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Ravi Prasad, PhD

Clinical Professor

Director of Behavioral Health, Division of Pain Medicine

University of California, Davis School of Medicine




  • 1.00 AANP
  • 1.00 ACCME (All Other)
  • 1.00 ACCME (MD/DO Only)
  • 1.00 ACPE Pharmacy
  • 1.00 ANCC
  • 1.00 APA

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AANP Contact Hours
  • 1.00 ACPE Pharmacy
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
  • 1.00 ANCC
  • 1.00 APA
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