White Institute Calendar

A Psychoanalytic Approach to Treating Chronic Somatic Pain

Date: 5 2022 10:00

A six part mini-course that introduces research from neuroscience

 in support of a psychoanalytically-oriented approach to treating PPD

 

ABOUT THE COURSE

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the physical and mental health of people of all ages has hardly begun to be documented. An informal survey of chronic pain clinicians in the NY/NJ/CT area reveals a striking increase in treatment requests for adults and adolescents describing symptoms of chronic somatic pain, at a time when there is hope that the pandemic may be waning.  Psychoanalyst and specialist in the field of chronic pain treatment and psychophysiologic  disorders, Dr. Frances Sommer Anderson and her colleagues foresee  a significant increase in chronic somatic pain and other somatic symptoms in the coming years as the impact of the pandemic becomes manifest.

 

Description Overview of the Course 

 

A 12-hour course, comprised of six 2-hour sessions, that introduce clinicians to research from neuroscience about PPD (Psychophysiologic Pain Disorders) which supports a psychoanalytically-oriented approach to treating these conditions. These conditions are also referred to as Mindbody disorders, TMS (Tension Myoneural Syndrome), and psychosomatic disorders.

 

This psychoanalytic model for treating PPD aims to eliminate the pain by (1) identifying the sources of stress that are hypothesized to cause the enduring somatic symptoms; (2) helping the individual learn to identify, tolerate, and regulate emotions associated with the stressors and somatic symptoms; and (3) elucidating underlying emotional conflicts and/or unresolved traumatic experiences which may have contributed to its development.  This approach is different from pain management which accepts pain as "a given," and teaches individuals “how to live with it.” 

 

Assignments for experiential explorations between class sessions will be created to enhance the integration of the didactic principles into the therapist’s treatment of adolescents.

 

These classes are not a substitute for clinical supervision where individuals can integrate what they’ve learned with case material.

 

SCHEDULE and COSTS

This program will be held online, as follows:

6 sessions on Saturdays from 10:00AM-12:00Noon/Eastern Standard Time.

Dates: March 5, 12, 19, 26 and April 2, 9, 2022

Costs:

Early registration, offered through February 13th, 2022: $550   

Full registration, beginning February 1st:  $650

Student rate: $400

12 Continuing Education Credits are available upon completion of the program.

 

Register here

 

Program Details:

 

Part 1:  Experiencing the Pain Matrix ®️

Having used psychoanalytically informed psychotherapy since 1979 to treat people in physical pain, Dr. Sommer Anderson has created a series of silent, guided experiential processes to teach mental health practitioners, healthcare professionals, and bodyworkers about the complex, subjective experience of physical pain. In discussions that follow the experiential processes, she elucidates the role of sensory, affective, and cognitive processes in our perception of sensations that we label painful.  The significant role of pain memories in the treatment process will be explored. 

Historical and contemporary literature that has been used in teaching this course in the past are the following:

         Engel, G. L. (1959). “Psychogenic” pain and the pain-prone patient.    The American journal of medicine, 26(6), 899-918.

·      Doidge, N. (2016). The brain's way of healing: Remarkable discoveries and recoveries from the frontiers of neuroplasticity. Penguin Books.  Chapter 1:  Physician Hurt, Then Heal Thyself, pp. 1-32.

·      Anderson, F. S. (2017). It was not safe to feel angry: disrupted early attachment and the development of chronic pain in later life. Attachment, 11(3), 223-241.

This list will be updated and expanded when the date for the course has been determined.

Learning objectives, Part 1 

1.  Learn how the perception of pain is comprised of sensations, emotions, and cognitions/beliefs by participating in silent guided experiential exploration of pain memories using Anderson’s experiential teaching method, Experiencing the Pain Matrix ®

2.  Learn to track the relationship between affective states and pain symptoms

3.  Learn how to integrate pain memories in the treatment of chronic somatic pain.

 

Part 2 Clinical Considerations in the Treatment of PPD:  Clinical Case Discussions

Part 2 will elaborate the clinical concepts related to the development of psychophysiologic pain syndromes as well as the psychoanalytically based techniques used to treat these conditions. 

Participants will learn how to apply their learning about chronic pain through discussion of clinical case material provided by the instructor.  Each participant will be invited to offer a clinical vignette with which they would like help in applying the didactic and experiential learning in Part 1.

Clinical case material will illustrate how somatic symptoms can serve to protect an individual from unbearable emotional distress.  A wide range of examples will be given of how somatic symptoms can be eliminated by helping the individual identify and tolerate feelings that were previously foreclosed or disavowed. 

Possible Readings to be expanded once the date of the course is set.

Lane, R. D., Anderson, F. S., & Smith, R. (2018). Biased competition favoring physical over emotional pain: a possible explanation for the link between early adversity and chronic pain. Psychosomatic medicine, 80(9), 880-890.

Schubiner, Howard. (September/October 2018) Chronic Pain Reconsidered--A New Role for Therapists.  Psychotherapy Networker.

Sarno, J.E.  (2006) The Divided Mind:  The Epidemic of Mindbody Disorders.  New York:  Regan Books, Harper Collins, Inc. 

Learning objectives, Part 2

1.   Use clinical material to illustrate how somatic pain can serve as a distraction from emotional pain and conflict.

2.   Learn clinical strategies for identifying emotional stressors that can contribute to the development of chronic somatic distress.

3.   Learn how to help clients identify and tolerate difficult emotions 

 

ABOUT FRANCES SOMMER ANDERSON PhD, SEP

Dr. Anderson is a member of the MIP Trauma Certificate Faculty and Steering Committee, is a psychologist and psychoanalyst whose clinical work, teaching, and publications have focused on the body since she was a clinical psychology intern in 1974 at Rusk Institute-NYU Langone Medical Center.  She has specialized in treating chronic pain and other psychophysiologic disorders since 1979 when she began treating back pain patients at Rusk. Her relational psychoanalytic approach to treatment is informed by specialized training in treating trauma and current developments in the neurobiology of affect, trauma, and pain. Dr. Anderson's publications have focused on bringing the body back into psychoanalysis, including Relational Perspectives on the Body, co-edited with Lewis Aron, 1998; Bodies in Treatment, (Editor, 2007), and on treating chronic pain, Pathways to Pain Relief, co-authored with Eric G. Sherman, 2013; as well as articles on the impact of early life trauma on the development of pain later in life.

Read more about Dr. Anderson at francessomeranderson.com and at pathwaystopainrelief.com.

 

 

CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDIT INFORMATION

For Psychologists:

The William Alanson White Institute is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor Continuing Education for Psychologists. The William Alanson White Institute maintains responsibility for these programs and their contents.

William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis and Psychology 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-0004.

 

For Social Workers:

William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis and Psychology 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-0159.

 

For Licensed Psychoanalysts:

William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis and Psychology 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 psychoanalysts. #P-0007.

 

For Licensed Mental Health Counselors:

William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis and Psychology 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-0025.

 

For Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists:

William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis and Psychology 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 marriage and family therapists #MFT-0019.

 

For Licensed Creative Arts Therapists:

William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis and Psychology 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 creative arts therapists. #CAT-0011.

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