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Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for Chronic Pain: Been There, Done That, Now What?

Friday, 5 February, 2021

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Dr Lance McCracken, Professor of Clinical Psychology at Uppsala University (Sweden) will discuss his research on: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for Chronic Pain: Been There, Done That, Now What?

There are now more than 35 outcomes studies published, including more than 22 RCTs, of ACT for chronic pain. There are also multiple systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and even a meta-analysis of meta-anayses, each (but not all) proclaiming its significant benefits, at least as good as other established active treatments.  One might ask then, are we done yet?  Most certainly, we are not. This lecture will describe the current state of affairs in this area of clinical research and address two main things, some weaknesses in past work and what we need to do next.

In addition to looking at chronic pain as a problem, this lecture will also look at this example area for lessons about science.  ACT as an approach to behavior change has provoked great enthusiasm, and as one might expect, some resistance as well.  It turns out there are good lessons in it on the advantages and disadvantages of enthusiasm. Resistance, on the other hand, is simply par for the course, and will ultimately be advantageous.  The other lessons relate to our current paradigms in Psychology and how they might impede progress.