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2 Day: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for Chronic Pain: A Start to Finish Training for Clinicians

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Jennifer Caspari, PhD
12 Hours 33 Minutes
Mar 11, 2024
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Digital Recording
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Chronic pain is central to the story of so many clients’ lives.

Sure, it hurts, but it goes so much deeper than that - permeating every aspect of their existence. Their identity becomes entangled in the complexities of pain. Their mentality is reshaped. Pain becomes an unwanted guest in every thought, decision, and emotion.

Coping with something this ingrained in your clients takes a big change – one that impacts how they perceive, manage, and embrace not just pain, but life.

That’s where the proven power of ACT comes in.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy offers a path to healing that’s more than just a strategy for managing pain; it’s a comprehensive approach to life that addresses the physical, emotional, and psychological dimensions of pain’s influence.

With ACT you can help your clients experience a brighter future where pain no longer dominates their story…and Dr. Jennifer Caspari is the perfect person to show you how.

In over a decade of work in hospitals, the VA healthcare system, and private practice Dr. Caspari has mastered the use of ACT-based treatment for clients with chronic pain.

Now in this training she’ll show exactly how you can start using it with clients right away. You’ll get everything you need including:

  • Scripts and detailed guidance on over 20 powerful exercises
  • Tools to confront pain avoidance so clients can take action toward healing
  • Tips on how to shift clients from “pain control” to values-driven living
  • Treatment plans to help clients rediscover the quality of life they thought was lost
  • Quick mindfulness techniques for immediate pain relief
  • And much more!

Behavioral treatment of chronic pain is only going to grow as the era of relying on dangerous and addictive drugs comes to an end.

This is your chance to make sure you have the best tool available for your clients.

Purchase now!


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.


This online program is worth 12.75 hours CPD.



Jennifer Caspari, PhD's Profile

Jennifer Caspari, PhD Related seminars and products

Jennifer Caspari, PhD, is an associate psychologist with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Associates of Denver who specializes in delivering evidence-based psychotherapies to adults with acute and chronic health issues including chronic pain, chronic fatigue, sleep difficulty/insomnia, cancer, body image issues, disordered eating, and other health concerns.

Her collaborative, warm, and empathetic approach focuses on enhancing functioning, ability to engage in values-based behaviors, and overall quality of life. Dr. Caspari aims to support clients in gaining awareness of their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and to translate that insight into helpful and personally worthwhile change in their daily lives.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Jennifer Caspari has employment relationships with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Associates of Denver. She is a blogger with Psychology Today. Dr. Caspari receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. Jennifer Caspari is a member of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science and the American Psychological Association.

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  1. Identify common psychosocial challenges of living with chronic pain.  
  2. Determine psychological, social, and behavioural factors that contribute to mood symptoms and decreased quality of life within the context of chronic pain.   
  3. Utilize a holistic and whole health model to foster a client-centered and collaborative approach.    
  4. Define ACT including psychological flexibility and the general aims of the therapeutic approach.  
  5. Identify the six core processes of ACT.  
  6. Examine the aims of ACT within the context of chronic pain.  
  7. Select ACT interventions to address common challenges and concerns of chronic pain clients.  
  8. Use ACT and mindfulness-based strategies to decrease mood symptoms and psychological concerns.  
  9. Determine the key role of acceptance of chronic pain in treatment.    
  10. Identify the importance of enhancing psychological flexibility in treatment.  
  11. Evaluate the relationship between cognitive fusion, mood, and pain.    
  12. Identify how identification of personal values can impact chronic pain.


Client Psychosocial Concerns Related to Chronic Pain

  • Loss of physical functioning: identity, coping, mentality, and distress
  • Role changes, self-esteem, and confidence
  • Loss within relationships: social connectedness, sexual connection, autonomy, and more
  • Loss of quality of life: Risk factors
  • Co-occurrence with depression, anxiety, and other mood concerns
  • Lack of acceptance/decreased self-worth

ACT and Chronic Pain Fundamentals: Core Processes, Case Conceptualization, and Setting the Stage for Treatment

  • Psychological flexibility & General aims of ACT
  • ACT’s 6 core processes: Overview
  • Why the theoretical approach of ACT fits well with chronic pain
  • The key role of pain acceptance
  • Reducing the dominance of pain in one’s life through psychological flexibility
  • Role of self-compassion in psychological flexibility and distress
  • General clinical goals
  • Research, limitations and risks
  • Indications and contraindications

Uncover Your Clients Unique Pain Experience: Creating a Client-Centered Treatment Plan

  • How to identify your client’s unique pain concerns
  • Defining what health, well-being, and quality of life mean to the client
  • Identifying the client’s values and what is important to them

Tackle Chronic Pain’s Grip: ACT Tools to Address the Change Agenda and Limits of Control

  • Chronic pain history and recovery attempts
  • Short and long-term benefits and costs of previous pain treatments
  • “Clean” and “Dirty” pain exercise - confronting avoidance patterns
  • Breaking down the pain chain exercise
  • Shift from pain control to values-driven living

Acceptance & Willingness Skills to Thrive Amidst Chronic Pain

  • ACT-based definitions and how client defines them
  • Goals of building willingness skills
  • Passengers on the bus metaphor: creating detachment from pain
  • General willingness exercise to reduce pain anxiety
  • Chinese finger trap exercise: accepting pain as an unavoidable sensation
  • Welcoming pain mindfulness exercise: Observing without judgment

Cognitive Defusion Interventions: Using ACT to Separate Client’s Thoughts from Suffering

  • Understand cognitive defusion
  • When cognitive defusion is helpful
  • The rules governing pain perception
  • Create a painful thinking diary: track and analyze thoughts about pain
  • 3 cognitive defusion exercises to:
    • Reduce the intensity of pain-related emotion
    • Distance clients from pain related thoughts
    • Shift from pain avoidance to proactive management

Mindfulness Techniques for Chronic Pain Management

  • When to use mindfulness and with whom
  • Mindful breathing for pain-related tension and stress
  • Mindful notice and name – label pain sensations for better pain management
  • Quick techniques for immediate pain relief
  • Anchor in the present moment when pain becomes overwhelming
  • S.T.O.P. exercise – assess your pain experience and respond

Other Applications and Clinical Takeaways of ACT for Pain

  • The observer self and its role in pain management
  • Values and carrying pain
  • How values related to pain tolerance
  • Committed action: identify and address barriers
  • The costs of pain and the coin metaphor
  • Acceptance of pain every day as an active choice

Target Audience

  • Counsellors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Art Therapists
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Addiction Counsellors
  • Nurses
  • Other Mental Health Professionals


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