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Health Forum Online    The Psychologist's Source for C.E. Credits Online

Chronic Pain Syndromes and Interventions: Treating the Whole Person

by Lauren Lucas, PhD 5 CE Credits

The prevalence of chronic pain in the United States is estimated at 35.5% according to results of a recent health interview summary. Interestingly, many chronic intractable, benign pain and chronic recurrent pain syndromes may not respond to traditional medical and medication management approaches. When this occurs, productivity and emotional well-being can be negatively impacted for both pain patients and caregivers. Mental health professionals and allied healthcare workers can play a key role in the treatment of chronic pain syndromes, both exclusively and as a resource for/adjunct to physicians.

This course provides theory-and evidence-based psychological components adaptable to clinical practice for this patient population. The pathophysiology of pain is identified and a detailed presentation of
the psychological features of chronic pain syndromes is provided. Nonpharmacological treatment alternatives that address the whole person and that utilize mental health strategies are discussed.


This online course is approved for APA CE credit, NBCC CE clock hours, ASWB CE clock hours (Pain Management), and NYSED CE credit.


Course Sections/Outline:

  • Introduction
  • Definitions: Acute Versus Chronic, Benign Pain
  • A Brief Biological and Theoretical Overview of Pain
  • The Expression of Pain
  • Assessing Chronic Pain
  • The Psychosocial Correlates of Pain
  • Mental Health Interventions Used to Treat Benign, Chronic Pain
  • Alternative and Energy Related Therapies
  • Common Chronic, Benign & Recurrent Pain Syndromes
  • Summary
  • References
  • Web-based Resources

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Discuss 2 underlying mechanisms and biological pathways associated with pain and 5 prominent pain theories.
  • Recognize the biopsychosocial presentation of 3 types of pain, namely chronic, benign and recurrent pain.
  • Discuss at least 4 relevant psychological challenges related to chronic pain.
  • Identify at least 5 assessment tools and apply at least 4 mental health approaches and interventions to enhance adjustment and adaptation among chronic pain patients.