Ronald D. Siegel

Title of UFCSH talk: “Befriending Fear and Pain: Mindfulness in the Treatment of
Chronic Pain and Related Disorders”
Thursday, November 8, 2007

Mindfulness—awareness of present experience with acceptance—has been used successfully for over 2500 years to alleviate suffering. It is based on the ancient discovery that our attempts to avoid pain and to cling to pleasure cause our miseries to multiply. In contrast, openly embracing life as it is presented, with all its difficulties, leads to happiness and a greater sense of connection to others. Mindfulness is the central ingredient in a number of new empirically supported medical and psychological treatments, and is proving to be a remarkably powerful technique to augment many forms of therapy.

Mindfulness is particularly well suited to working with chronic pain and stress-related medical disorders—all conditions in which resistance to unwanted, uncomfortable experiences exacerbates the problem. This talk will present a step-by-step program integrating cognitive, behavioral, and mindfulness-based strategies for treating chronic back and neck pain, and other stress-related disorders.