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Course Description

Pain catastrophizing powerfully predicts the development and trajectory of chronic pain. Learn the science behind pain catastrophizing, its impacts, and why this psychological construct should be assessed and treated in outpatients and in individuals who are planning to have surgery. 

In this session you will learn about:

  • The basic role of psychology in the experience of pain
  • How pain catastrophizing (cognitive and emotional experience) impacts pain and treatment outcomes
  • The neural mechanisms of pain catastrophizing
  • Evidence based treatment for pain catastrophizing
  • Current research and future directions for targeted pain catastrophizing treatment
  • Perioperative impacts of pain catastrophizing on post-surgical outcome

Clinical Associate Professor Stanford University School of Medicine

Beth Darnall, PhD

Beth Darnall, PhD is Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine at Stanford University, and is faculty in the Stanford Systems Neuroscience and Pain Lab. She is a pain psychologist and scientist. She is a past President of the Pain Society of Oregon and Co-Chair of the Pain Psychology Task Force at the American Academy of Pain Medicine. Her NIH-funded research investigates mechanisms of pain catastrophizing, cognitive behavioral therapy for pain, and the effectiveness of a single-session pain catastrophizing treatment she developed. Additional projects are focused on preventing post-surgical chronic pain, and opioid reduction in outpatients with chronic pain. Beth believes that to effectively scale pain treatment efforts must involve improved pain education for patients and healthcare providers alike, and improved access to evidence-based low-cost behavioral pain treatment. She is author of The Opioid-Free Pain Relief Kit © 2016 and Less Pain, Fewer Pills: Avoid the dangers of prescription opioids and gain control over chronic pain ©2014. Beth blogs for Psychology Today and the Huffington Post. Her work and viewpoint has been featured by multiple media outlets, including the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Magazine, MORE Magazine, Forbes, and Scientific American. 

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Reducing Catastrophizing to Prevent and Treat Chronic Pain

    • Pre-Survey

    • Reducing Catastrophizing to Prevent and Treat Chronic Pain

    • Reducing Catastrophizing to Prevent and Treat Chronic Pain

    • Evaluation Survey