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Clinical Hypnosis Society of New Jersey Training health and mental health professionals since 1986

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Chronic Pain & the Opioid Crisis: Mind-Body Innovations in Clinical Hypnosis

  • Saturday, April 24, 2021
  • 9:00 AM - 5:45 PM
  • ZOOM


  • Student currently enrolled with letter from university
  • With proof of non-profit employment

Registration is closed

This workshop will be presented via ZOOM by Mark Weisberg, Ph.D., ABPP.

Workshop Description:

The 2011 Institute of Medicine report Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research estimated that 100 million Americans have chronic pain. Over the last 15 years, the primary reliance on and excessive use of opiate medications has created a serious medical crisis.  The United States, which makes up less than 5% of the world population, uses 80% of the world’s opiates. Numerous studies demonstrate that dependence on opiate medications leads to overwhelming suffering and disability. Treatment of these conditions should engage patients in daily self-care, gradual conditioning, reducing the guarding reflex around painful areas, and activating self-healing resources. Opiates—especially at high doses— disconnect the brain from the body in a dissociative process, making self-care and activating self-healing resources more challenging.

In this 1-day workshop, you will learn the role that hypnosis can play in facilitating an ideal healing state to assist in healing 2 common types of chronic pain: low back pain and headache. Participants will discover how hypnosis can facilitate the process of weaning patients off opiate medications, as well as reducing central sensitization.  Dr. Weisberg will review the literature and guide the participants through a mixture of didactic and experiential approaches they can use on a daily basis in their clinical practice. This program fulfills the CE requirements for 1 credit of training in opioid education for New Jersey Psychologists.

About our Presenter:

Dr. Weisberg is a Board-Certified Clinical Health Psychologist in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is Adjunct Community Faculty, Academic Health Center, University of Minnesota. Dr. Weisberg is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Clinical Health Psychology. He has been involved in clinical practice, writing, and consultation in integrative mind-body medicine for over 25 years, and teaches on related topics nationally and internationally. He has been a consultant at the  Minnesota Head and Neck Pain Clinic for over 30 years, involved in the treatment of a wide variety of adults and adolescents with back pain, headache, temporomandibular disorders, autoimmune syndromes, and other widespread pain conditions. Dr. Weisberg is a Fellow and Approved Consultant of ASCH, and has served on the Executive Committee as Secretary, Member at Large, and Vice President. He is also Past President of the Minnesota Society of Clinical Hypnosis. Dr. Weisberg is the co-author of Trust Your GutGet Lasting Healing from IBS and Other Chronic Digestive Problems Without Drugs (Conari Press), a consumer book on integrative treatment of digestive disorders. He also conducts a private psychotherapy and consultation practice in Minneapolis.

Learning Objectives:

A.  Explain the relationship between chronic pain, central sensitization & autonomic dysregulation.

B. Name 3 essential messages that must be conveyed to enhance self-healing resources.

C. Describe normal dissociation.

D. Explain how dissociation interferes with chronic pain rehabilitation.

E. State how opiate use effects dissociation in chronic pain.

F. Describe the relationship between affect tolerance & weaning off of opiate medications. 

G. Explain the importance of helping people tolerate sensations in the body.

H. Name two guiding principles for framing hypnotic interventions for migraine versus muscle tension headaches.

I. Name two hypnotic techniques for directing attention away from the body. 

J. Name 2 hypnotic techniques for directing attention toward the body. 

K. Describe how knowledge of amygdala function affects hypnotic suggestions for chronic pain management.

L. Explain why hypnosis is an important modality for accessing subcortically-mediated involuntary processes in chronic pain. 

M. Identify hypnotic strategies and name 6 hypnotic techniques for use in pain management.

N. Describe the importance of Polyvagal Theory for framing effective hypnotic interventions for treating chronic pain.

O. Identify 2 hypnotic interventions for the patient with low back pain and two interventions with headache.

Time Line:

8:30 am EST                   Zoom waiting room is opened

9 am                                Introduction, format for the day

9:15 –10:30                     Group hypnosis. Fundamentals for a Mind-Body Orientation, clarifying confusion about what is a mind                                                          body/integrative orientation, characteristics of the clinician that activate self-healing resources. How this can                                                inform formulating hypnotic suggestions

10:30 – 11:30                  Essential concepts: Psychoneuroimmunology, brain structure, central sensitization syndrome, autonomic                                                      nervous system dysregulation, polyvagal theory, psychophysiological patterns. Utilizing hypnotic suggestions                                                that reflect these concepts

11:30 – 11:45                  BREAK

11:45 – 1:00                    The opioid crisis. Chronic pain and dissociation. Addressing the problem of normal dissociation. How opiate                                                  medications worsen this problem. Using hypnotic strategies that focus attention either toward or away from the                                            symptom.

1:00 – 2:00                     LUNCH

2:00 – 3:00                      Opiates, somatic dissociation, affect regulation and hypnosis. How to formulate suggestions that effectively                                                  address these problems in the treatment of chronic pain

3:00-4:00                         Demonstration

4:00-4:15                         BREAK

4:15-5:00                         Case examples, working with the difficult, complex chronic pain patient on opiates.

5:00-5:45                         Integration, pulling it all together, applications in your practice

5:45                                 WORKSHOP ENDS


This workshop is appropriate for Licensed Health and  Mental Health Professionals such as: Physicians, Nurses, Social Workers, Licensed Mental Health Counselors, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists, Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors, Psychologists & others holding a license to practice independently, or graduate student currently enrolled and under the supervision of a licensed professional. Master's level clinicians practicing in a non-profit setting under the supervision of a licensed professional. Students and non-licensed professional are required to submit proof of their status and supervisor. 

Certificates of attendance will be emailed to professionals who attend the entire session, provide their license number and complete a course evaluation. This workshop has been approved for 7 clinical practice CEs for social workers from NJ and all states that accept ASWB individual course approval. (NB: This does not include NY.) It has been approved for 7 CEs for licensed psychologists as it is co-sponsored by NJPA who is approved to offer APA CE credits. In addition ASCH has approved this course for 7 advanced CE credits. 

Cancellation policy: A full refund less a $50. cancellation fee will be granted up to 14 days prior to the workshop. After that no refunds are available.

This workshop will be held virtually. Individuals requiring special accommodations should contact the society at .

All grievances must be in writing to A reply will come within 14 days.

"New Jersey social workers not pleased with a grievance resolution provided by the Clinical Hypnosis Society of New Jersey may appeal to the approving entity or their jurisdictional board."

The presenter does not have any commercial support and/or conflict of interest for this program. NJPA ensures that permission to use proprietary information, and steps to safeguard such information, are discussed with presenters at NJPA co-sponsored programs. No materials (physical or electronic) provided to attendees at such programs may be shared. NJPA does not endorse the presented material as the only approach to a given area of study or therapeutic approach. 

This workshop is co-sponsored by NJPA and the Clinical Hypnosis Society of New Jersey. NJPA is approved by the American Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists. NJPA maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Chronic Pain & the Opioid Crisis: Mind-Body Innovations in Clinical Hypnosis, Course #2829, is approved by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program to be offered by Clinical Hypnosis Society of NJ as an individual course.

Individual courses, not providers, are approved at the course level. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. ACE course approval period: 02/18/2020 - 02/18/2022. Social workers completing this course receive 7 Clinical Practice continuing education credits.

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