ACT skills for working with chronic pain

Practical experiential exercises to build resilience and valued living

12 months
2.5 hours (2.5 CE credits)
Introductory level
Suitable for psychologists, pain specialists, therapists and medics,

Course Description

Are you a psychologist looking to enhance your skills in working with clients experiencing chronic pain? Join Dr Kristy Potter for a comprehensive workshop designed to provide you with the knowledge and tools necessary to effectively support individuals with chronic pain.

This workshop will provide you with practical tools, theoretical knowledge, and experiential learning opportunities, exploring the principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and how they can be applied to the assessment and management of chronic pain. ACT offers a holistic approach that considers the biological, psychological, and social factors influencing pain experiences.  You will expand your skills in effectively supporting individuals on their journey towards a more fulfilling life, despite the challenges of chronic pain.

The workshop is delivered across six modules, each covering essential aspects of working with chronic pain. Delve into the theoretical underpinnings of chronic pain, including the International Association for the Study of Pain’s (IASP) key concepts and different theories of pain and explore why ACT is a valuable framework for understanding and addressing chronic pain, drawing upon the latest national UK guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Program overview

Introduction: Introduction to the workshop [3 mins]

  • Introduction to the module series and overview of each module.

You can view the introductory module for free here:

Module 1: Theoretical underpinnings [34 mins]

Module 1 will introduce the key aspects of theory in relation to application of ACT to chronic pain. The module will touch on the core act processes related to psychological flexibility, the main theories of pain and concentrate on how ACT  can be useful within the context of pain. The module also covers a brief literature overview and looks at the applicable research.

Module 2: Getting started [36 mins]

Module 2 will focus on assessment techniques for chronic pain, including case conceptualisation and formulation within the ACT framework. We will explore creative hopelessness, a fundamental concept in ACT, and discuss strategies for getting buy-in from clients. Experiential exercises will be incorporated to enhance learning and engagement.

Module 3: Values and committed action [26 mins]

Module 3 will introduce values-based goal setting and the flexibility of commitments in the face of chronic pain. We will explore the difficulty of listening to one’s body and develop strategies to help clients align their actions with their values, enabling them to live a full and valued life despite pain.

Module 4: Getting present [30 mins]

In Module 4, we will explore mindfulness as a powerful tool for pain management. We will discuss the challenges of staying present in the face of pain and provide practical exercises to enhance present-moment awareness. Useful analogies will be shared to help clients understand the importance of mindfulness in their pain journey.

Module 5: Adjustments and troubleshooting [16 mins]

Module 5 will address adjustments that may be required in therapy, considering environmental factors, session length, and the overall treatment system. We will also troubleshoot common obstacles faced when working with chronic pain clients and discuss strategies to overcome them.

Module 6: Other modalities [14 mins]

Finally, in Module 6, we will explore alternative approaches to 1:1 therapy, such as group interventions and the ‘drip feed’ model. We will discuss the benefits of these approaches and how they can complement individual therapy sessions.

 

Learning objectives

At the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  1. Describe the theoretical foundations of chronic pain, including key concepts and theories, and how they relate to the principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
  2. Apply assessment techniques and case conceptualisation skills within the ACT framework to effectively work with clients experiencing chronic pain, including strategies for gaining client buy-in and promoting engagement.
  3. Demonstrate practical skills and strategies for incorporating mindfulness and values-based goal setting into therapy sessions, enabling clients to better manage their pain and live a more fulfilling life aligned with their values.

 

If you have disability and require adjustments or accommodation, please email us at to discuss your needs and we will do our best to help you.

Contextual Consulting is committed to the identification and resolution of potential conflicts of interest in the planning, promotion, delivery, and evaluation of continuing education. Potential conflicts of interest occur when an individual assumes a professional role in the planning, promotion, delivery, or evaluation of continuing education where personal, professional, legal, financial, or other interests could reasonably be expected to impair their objectivity, competence, or effectiveness.

There was no commercial support for this event. None of the planners or presenters for this educational activity have relevant financial relationship(s) to disclose with ineligible companies whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients.

APA psychologists: This program is sponsored by Contextual Consulting and is approved for 2.5 CE credits for psychologists. 

Behaviour analysts: This workshop is available for 2.5 BACB Learning CEUs. Contextual Consulting is an approved BACB ACE Provider # OP-20-3415.

Nationally certified counselors: This workshop is available for 2.5 credit hours. Contextual Consulting Ltd. has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 7578. 

To find out more, including attendance requirements and how to access your certificate, go to our continuing education information page.

At the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  1. Describe the theoretical foundations of chronic pain, including key concepts and theories, and how they relate to the principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
  2. Apply assessment techniques and case conceptualisation skills within the ACT framework to effectively work with clients experiencing chronic pain, including strategies for gaining client buy-in and promoting engagement.
  3. Demonstrate practical skills and strategies for incorporating mindfulness and values-based goal setting into therapy sessions, enabling clients to better manage their pain and live a more fulfilling life aligned with their values.

Key references 

Dahl, J. C., & Lundgren, T. L. (2006). Living beyond your pain: Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to ease chronic pain. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

International Association for the Study of Pain: https://www.iasp-pain.org

UK National Guidance: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng193

US National Guidance: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/chronic-pain-what-you-need-to-know

Good overview of the theories of pain: https://www.physio-pedia.com/Theories_of_Pain

Recent meta-analyses

Ma TW, Yuen AS, Yang Z. The Efficacy of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Chronic Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Clin J Pain. 2023 Mar 1;39(3):147-157. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0000000000001096. PMID: 36827194.

Lizu Lai, Yinong Liu, Lance M. McCracken, Ying Li, Zhihong Ren, The efficacy of acceptance and commitment therapy for chronic pain: A three-level meta-analysis and a trial sequential analysis of randomized controlled trials, Behaviour Research and Therapy (2023) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2023.104308.

Key websites:

https://contextualscience.org

ACBS website state of the evidence: https://contextualscience.org/state_of_the_act_evidence

Chronic Pain Treatment Protocol (member site only): https://contextualscience.org/chronic_pain_treatment_protocol

Chronic Pain Group Protocol (member site only): https://contextualscience.org/chronic_paingroup_treatment_facilitator_and_patien

OsteoMAP group (member site only): https://contextualscience.org/chronic_pain_management_in_manual_therapy_osteomap

 

 

 

 

ACT skills for working with chronic pain
$55.00 (+ VAT if applicable). change currency

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