Working with Acceptance, Mindfulness, and Values in Chronic Pain

Working with Acceptance, Mindfulness, and Values in Chronic Pain

An Introduction and Skills Building Seminar

CE Hours available

Chronic pain can be incredibly debilitating and cause immense human suffering.

It seeps into every aspect of the lives of those affected, disrupting meaningful activity and sometimes even leading to self-harm and suicide.

And, unfortunately, it’s often incurable.

Most clients enter into the doctor’s office or the therapy room looking for solutions that will reduce their pain. That goal is deeply understandable. And yet, it usually leads to clients and practitioners alike becoming frustrated and disillusioned with a process that seems to go nowhere.

That’s why it’s vital that practitioners have an approach to working with chronic pain that shifts the focus away from pain reduction.

Instead, they need a method for introducing clients to the possibility that they don’t need to rid themselves of pain to create the lives they want — even when it feels hopeless.

The principles at the heart of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) pave a way for working with chronic pain that redirects the focus from how they can reduce or survive their pain to how they can flourish while living with pain.

Our new live online course, Working with Acceptance, Mindfulness, and Values in Chronic Pain, aims to give you the tools and knowledge to implement this approach in your practice.

Inside the Course

Unlike many other methods, ACT makes no effort to change negative thoughts and painful emotions. Instead, ACT encourages clients to stay in the present moment and reforge their relationship to painful experiences through mindfulness, acceptance skills, and values-based actions.

As pain sufferers set aside struggles for control over pain, learn to stay present with their experiences, and engage in meaningful activities, they suffer less and function better — even while pain persists.

In this 6-session, live online course designed for medical professionals and mental health practitioners alike, you’ll learn how you can incorporate this approach into your work and open up new possibilities for growth with your clients suffering from chronic pain.

Dr. Kevin Vowles will guide you through an overview of the history of pain treatment and the theoretical underpinnings ACT.

You’ll explore how pain functions in the context of the 6 core processes that guide all human behavior, creating inflexible and limiting patterns of control and avoidance.

Then, you’ll learn how to use acceptance and mindfulness techniques to help your clients build psychological flexibility — the ability to stay present and engage with meaningful behavior, even in the face of uncomfortable experiences — setting the stage for them to expand beyond their pain and connect more deeply to what matters in their lives.

Through experiential, skill-building, and case conceptualization exercises, you’ll practice using values-based strategies as a touchstone for creating adaptable treatment strategies based on the specific needs of your client.

Throughout the course, you’ll have the chance to further develop your experience with this approach through opportunities for consultation, instruction, and feedback. You’ll leave this course prepared to put these tools to use in your next session, and make a difference in your clients’ lives right away.

Join this important course and discover a different way forward with your clients — one that shows them they don’t have to wait for their pain to disappear before they build lives of profound meaning and prosperity.

This training is worth 12 CE credit hours if attended live. While we can only provide CE to those who are present – i.e. logged in – for live presentation(s), all Praxis webinars are recorded for later viewing. Registrants may then access these recordings at any time for up to six months from the conclusion of the training to which they pertain.

Prior to registering, please review speaker-planner conflict of interest disclosures and complete CE information.

Session 1 | March 29, 2022, 12 PM—2 PM EDT

Introduction and Background
Theoretical principles: The ACT model as applied to chronic pain

Session 2 | April 5, 2022, 12 PM—2 PM EDT

Principles of intervention – Objectives and goals
Values as touchstone of intervention

Session 3 | April 12, 2022, 12 PM—2 PM EDT

Chronic pain and values clarification
Case examples and exercises

Session 4 | April 19, 2022, 12 PM—2 PM EDT

Setting the stage for treatment success
Early treatment considerations

Session 5 | April 26, 2022, 12 PM—2 PM EDT

Present-focused awareness and its role in ACT for chronic pain
What to do with thinking and feeling?/Why look at things that hurt?

Session 6 | May 3, 2022, 12 PM—2 PM EDT

Values work as treatment direction
What do the data say? Treatment outcomes and mechanisms/ Principles and considerations for practice

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the ACT theoretical model with regard to at least 3 treatment targets.
  2. Model at least one clinical skill designed to augment acceptance, mindfulness, and clarity in valued actions.
  3. Identify at least three values-based actions for use in chronic pain settings.
  4. Articulate the relation between the theoretical principles of ACT, their assessment in treatment, and their utility in deriving a shared treatment plan with treatment recipients.
  5. Prioritize the components of an ACT for Chronic Pain case conceptualization.
  6. Describe the state of the current empirical literature in relation to content, outcomes, and processes of the ACT model.
  7. Identify how ACT processes are relevant to the treatment of chronic pain.
  8. List treatment goals relevant to the beginning, middle, and end stages of ACT with chronic pain.

Please review complete CE and conflict-of-interest disclosure information prior to registering. This live online course is sponsored by Praxis Continuing Education and Training and is approved for 12 CE Hours by the following listed below. There was no commercial support for this activity. 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.

Praxis CET maintains responsibility for the program with the CE approvals outlined below:

Joint Accreditation: In support of improving patient care, Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

IPCE: This activity was planned by and for the healthcare team, and learners will receive 12 Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) credit for learning and change.

Nursing: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc designates this activity for a maximum of 12 ANCC contact hours.

Physicians: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc designates this live internet activity for a maximum of 12 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Psychologists: Continuing Education (CE) credits for psychologists are provided through the co-sponsorship of the American Psychological Association (APA) Office of Continuing Education in Psychology (CEP). The APA CEP Office maintains responsibly for the content of the programs.

Social Workers: As a Jointly Accredited Organization, Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved under this program. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc maintains responsibility for this course. Social workers completing this course receive 12 clinical continuing education credits.

Drug and Alcohol Counselors: This course has been approved by Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for 12 CE hours. NAADAC Provider #165310, Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc, is responsible for all aspects of its programming.

National Counselors: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6759. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

NY Social Workers: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0467

NY Counselors: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors. #MHC-0198.

NY Psychologists: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0002.

Attendees should have had at least introductory ACT training
Healthcare professionals working with individuals who have chronic pain, including psychologists, social workers, physicians, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, as well as trainees in these disciplines. The overall level will be geared towards those who are relatively new to ACT, its application to chronic pain, and its underlying theoretical framework. (Beginner-Intermediate Level)

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Hayes, Steven. (2019). Acceptance and commitment therapy: towards a unified model of behavior change. World Psychiatry. 18. 226-227. 10.1002/wps.20626.

Hayes, S. C., & Sanford, B. T. (2015). Modern psychotherapy as a multidimensional multilevel evolutionary process. Current Opinion in Psychology, 2, 16-20.

Levin, M. E., Krafft, J., Hicks, E. T., Pierce, B., & Twohig, M. P. (2020). A randomized dismantling trial of the open and engaged components of acceptance and commitment therapy in an online intervention for distressed college students. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 126, 103557.

Strosahl, K. D., Robinson, P. J., & Gustavsson, T. (2012). Brief interventions for radical change: Principles and practice of focused acceptance and commitment therapy. New Harbinger Publications.

Walser, R. D., Karlin, B. E., Trockel, M., Mazina, B., & Taylor, C. B. (2013). Training in and implementation of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for depression in the Veterans Health Administration: Therapist and patient outcomes. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 51(9), 555-563.

We understand, sometimes things come up!

Praxis will offer a full refund to registrants of both live and live-online trainings who cancel their registration up to 14 days before the course or workshop start date, minus an administrative processing fee of $30 for a 2-day workshop or online course, and a $50 fee for a 4-day workshop. If cancelled within 14 days, no refund will be issued, however, a credit for the same amount will be applied toward another learning product, which expires within 1 year. Please contact us at to cancel a registration.