Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Chronic Pain

Clinical Online Training for Physical Therapists and All Practitioners Treating Chronic Pain FOR: PT, PTA, OT, OTA, MD, DO, RN, NP, PA, PSYCH, HEALTH COACH

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Why this course?

How ACT for Chronic Pain can enhance your practice

Discover how to help your patients drop the struggle with chronic pain, reduce fear and anxiety, and reclaim a full and active life.

Experience the satisfaction of helping your patients suffer less and enjoy life more. The biopsychosocial model is the paradigm from which all health care professionals are expected to treat pain. Our program offers you in-depth training, mentorship, and cutting-edge research on how to use Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to treat chronic pain.

This self-paced, online training program has been designed for physical therapists, occupational therapists, health coaches, nurses, physicians, and mental health professionals.

Professionals across the globe are using ACT in a variety of clinical practice settings that treat painful conditions including rehabilitation, orthopedics, neurology, women’s health, pediatrics, and more.

Meet your instructor:

Benefits Of This Program:

Improved outcomes

Patients who are empowered to make decisions about their health that better reflect their personal circumstances experience improved health outcomes.

Community support

Network with your peers and Dr Joe Tatta, share best practices and research interests. Identify the root cause of patient pain and assess patients and clients holistically.

Increase referrals

Evidenced-based strategies and techniques to increase your referrals and generate higher revenues for your practice.

Course Description

Practitioners are now expected to recognize pain-associated psychosocial distress and to modify their treatment. However, a gap exists between learning how to identify pain-associated psychosocial distress in patients and applying the treatment required to effectively manage people with pain in clinical practice. 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Chronic Pain is a cutting-edge clinical training program designed to show you how to break the cycle of suffering by addressing the psychosocial causes of pain. In this course, you will learn how to help your patients drop the struggle with chronic pain, reduce fear and anxiety, and reclaim a full and active life. This course builds upon the established professional expertise of practitioners and incorporates evidence-based psychological techniques that are associated with improved patient outcomes. 

Using principles of ACT is a form of psychologically informed physical therapy (PIPT) and part of the scope of practice for all physical therapists. With the knowledge you gain from this program, you’ll be able to implement ACT principles and techniques for patients with chronic pain and improve outcomes!

“I’ve structured the course to keep things sequential and straightforward to assimilate [Dr Joe Tatta]

#1: Describe the six processes of the ACT model.

#2: Define psychological flexibility/inflexibility.

#3:Develop a more thorough and integrated understanding of the ACT model.

#4: Identify how to reduce experiential avoidance by implementing behavioral willingness techniques with a client who has fibromyalgia.

#5: Define ACT cognitive defusion and its relationship to pain catastrophizing.

#6:Describe two techniques for increasing psychological flexibility for a patient with fibromyalgia.

#7: Describe how ACT promotes pain acceptance guided by values-based living in a patient with chronic low back pain.

#8: Summarize core ACT concepts through the use of three patient case examples.

#9: Describe 2 ACT-specific mindfulness techniques for acceptance.

#10: Describe how the ACT model can be used for chronic stress regulation.

#11: Summarize core ACT concepts through the use of three patient case examples.

#12: Develop two mindfulness exercises to be used in an ACT intervention.

#13: Evaluate client behaviors, such as experiential avoidance, cognitive fusion, and values-oriented living.

#14: Demonstrate increased skill in conceptualizing cases using the ACT model.

#15: Integrate two defusion and acceptance techniques into psychology practice.

#16: Integrate one new technique for helping clients articulate their values and identify workable actions so they can return to physical function.

#17: Explain how the ACT model enhances the therapeutic relationship.

#18: Explain three examples of self-as-context processes.

#19: List three techniques for mindful observation of pain and engagement on the part of a client during a session.

#20: Describe three ways of reading and responding to values processes as they show up in a session.

When you incorporate the tools and strategies in ACT for Chronic Pain into your practice, you will:

#1: Master new techniques to treat the psychosocial aspects of pain

#2:Help your patients alleviate the suffering associated with their chronic pain

#3: Gain a reputation as the premier go-to resource for pain care within your community

#4:Experience significant improvement in patient satisfaction and functional outcomes

#5: Move ahead of the curve and advance your practice beyond the outdated biomedical model

#6: Become a hero to your patients, as they re-engage with life and activities that bring them joy

Course Details

Use the arrows below to expand each section

👉Welcome to ACT for Chronic Pain

👉Begin Here

🎥Science and Theory of ACT

🎥 Language, Cognition and Suffering

🎥Metaphors in ACT

🎥 Illusion of Control

🎥 Psychological flexibility & hexaflex model

🖨ACT week 1 slides

🧩Processes Targeted with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

🧠 Quicksand & Hungry Tiger Metaphors

🎉Week #1 Quiz

🏥 Take it to the Clinic!

🤓 OPTIONAL READING – Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Health Behavior Change: A Contextually-Driven Approach

🎥 ACT Week 2

🖨ACT Week 2 Slides

🎥Case Study – Creative Hoplessness

🎥Case Study – Mining for Solutions – an optional followup to creative hopelessness

🧩Creative Hopelessness Transcript

📝Chronic Pain Acceptance Questionnaire

📝 ACT Core Competency Self-Assessment for Clinicians

🧠Chinese Finger Trap Metaphor

🎉Week #2 Quiz

🏥 Take It to the Clinic!

🤓 OPTIONAL READING – The impact of experiential avoidance on the relations between illness representations, pain catastrophising and pain interference in chronic pain

🎥ACT Week #3

🖨 ACT Week #3 Slides

🎥- VA Values and Committed Action

🎥Case Study: Brief Bullseye and Values Clarification

📝 Bulls Eye Exercise

🧩Bull’s Eye Transcript

📝 Life Compass

🧩Values Words

🧠 Compass Metaphor

🎉Week #3 Quiz

🏥 Take it to the Clinic!

🤓 OPTIONAL TRAINING – Valued-Living-Questionnaire

🤓 OPTIONAL READING – Towards a physically more active lifestyle based on one’s own values: results of a RCT among physically inactive adults

Coaching Call Access

 🎥 Defusion 1

🎥 Defusion 2

🎥 VA Defusion Video

🖨 Week #4 slides

📝Clean and Dirty Pain 

🎥 Mindfulness Defusion Exercises

🖨 Mindfulness & Defusion Transcript

📝The Protector Within from Radical Relief

🎥Case Study – Naming the Protector Within

📝Pain Chain

📝 Hooked By Thoughts

🎉Week #4 Quiz

🏥 Take it to the Clinic!

🤓 OPTIONAL READING – Cognitive Restructuring Cognitive Defusion for Negative Thoughts

🧠Ice Cube Experiential Exercise

🎥 Week #5 Acceptance

🖨 Acceptance slides

🎥 VA Acceptance Video

🎥 VA – Willingness Video

🎥 Allowing Exercise

🖨 Allowing Exercise Transcript

🎥 Picking Apart the Pain Monster

🖨 Picking Apart the Pain Monster Transcript

🎥 Mindful Emotions

🖨 Mindful Emotions Transcript

🎥 Creating Your Pain Monster

🖨 Creating Your Pain Monster Transcript

🎥 The Posture of Pain

🖨 The Posture of Pain Transcript

🧩Alternatives to Acceptance

📝 ACT Exposure Worksheet

🎉Week #5 Quiz

🏥 Take it to the Clinic!

🤓 OPTIONAL READING -Acceptance and values-based action in chronic pain: A three-year follow-up analysis of treatment effectiveness and process

🎥Present moment awareness

🤓 Optional – Present Moment Awareness VA

🎥 Time Traveler Present moment awareness exercise

🖨 Transcript – Time Traveler Present moment awareness exercise

🎥 Body Scan Meditation

🖨 Transcript – Body Scan Meditation

🎥 Self as Context

🤓 Optional – Observing Self VA

🎥 Observer Self Exercise 1 & 2

🖨Transcript – Observer Self Exercise 1 & 2

🎥 Talking and Listening

🎥 There Go Your Thoughts

🎥 Let Yourself Go

🎥 The Sky and the Weather

🖨 Self As Context transcripts

🖨 PMA & SAC slides

🧠 PMA & SAC Metaphors

🎉Week #6 Quiz

🏥 Take it to the Clinic!

🎥 Committed Action

🖨 Committed Action

📝 The Willingness and Action Plan

🧠 Committed Action Metaphors

🎉 Week #7 Quiz

🏥 Take it to the Clinic!

🤓 OPTIONAL READING – Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Improves Exercise Tolerance in Sedentary Women

🖨 ACT for Pain Therapists Guide

🎥Dropping an Anchor: A simple mindful defusion exercise to begin a session

📝 ACT Core Competency Self-Assessment for Clinicia

Complete the Course Survey for CE/CEUs

Faculty: Meet your instructor

What Professionals Are Saying…


Feel free to get in touch using the ‘Contact’ link above if you don’t find the answer to your questions.

Is this program approved for CEUs?

Yes! This course is approved for CEUs for PTs, PTAs OTs, and OTA’s. The Integrative Pain Science Institute is recognized by the New York State Education Department, State Board of Physical Therapy as an approved provider of physical therapist and physical therapist assistant continuing education.


Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida (Rule 64B17-9), Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming

This course is also approved by the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners.

NOTE: Some states still do not require continuing education for re-licensure. In addition, some states do not perform verification of continuing education material, which means they do not approve courses for CEU credit and usually accept any material. Please check with your state physical therapy association or state PT board for more details.

For participants outside of the United States or those who do not require a formal CEU certificate, we will be happy to provide a Letter of Participation form that you may keep for your records. Upon completion of the course, please contact us at [email protected] to request the form. Please check with your industry governing body to confirm whether this is required for your continuing education.

Registration includes unlimited access. You have as long as you need to complete the program and you can come back to the training as many times as needed.

This is an on-demand program. Each week you will receive new content. The program can be accessed in real-time, anywhere, and at any time. If you fall behind you can catch up at your own pace.

This program requires approximately 1-2 hours per week to complete.

Lessons are available in a variety of formats to make learning easy and fun, including video, audio, transcripts, study guides, PDF handouts and quizzes.

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