A Biopsychosocial Model for Chronic Pain & Strategies to Support the Sensory and Emotional Experience of Those Living with Pain | Recording


It’s estimated that 50 million adults in the United States have chronic daily pain and approximately 19.6 million of those adults are experiencing high impact chronic pain that interferes with daily life or work activities. Nation-wide the cost of chronic pain is estimated to be between $560-635 billion annually and our nation is facing an opioid crisis that, over the past two decades, has resulted in an unprecedented wave of overdose deaths associated with prescription opioids, heroin, and synthetic opioids. Multidisciplinary and biopsychosocial pain management has long been the gold standard for the treatment of care, yet most allied behavioral health professionals are not trained in evidence-based interventions for chronic pain.

This 90-minute workshop will utilize the shared knowledge of the University of Washington Center for Pain Relief’s multidisciplinary team to provide education and training on evidence-based interventions to support those in chronic pain.



Kaitlin Touza, PhD

Kaitlin Touza is a pain psychologist and acting assistant professor at the University of Washington’s Center for Pain Relief. She provides evidence-based individual and group intervention, including CBT, ACT, EAET, and PRT.  She also provides consultation to a broad population in the Pacific Northwest region and Alaska through UW’s TelePain program. Kaitlin is fellowship trained at Stanford in clinical pain psychology and is committed to multidisciplinary care and education in pain management. She is passionate about educational outreach and program development for patients, family members, and healthcare providers, with the goal of improving access to specialized multidisciplinary pain management in rural and underserved populations. She believes in a patient-centered, evidence-based, and biopsychosocial approach to intervention, program development, and assessment.  

Bethany Pester, PhD

Bethany Pester is a pain psychologist and acting assistant professor at the University of Washington’s Center for Pain Relief. Her patient-centered approach incorporates evidence-based psychological treatments for chronic pain, such as CBT, ACT, EAET, and PRT, while partnering with each patient to understand their unique needs and tailor treatment accordingly. Bethany has collaborated with research teams at UW/Seattle Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical System, Medical University of South Carolina, and academic medical centers across Michigan to study biopsychosocial approaches to understand, treat, and prevent acute and chronic pain. She is passionate about advancing research to better understand these complex conditions and translate discoveries into effective personalized treatments for children, adolescents, and adults.  

Eric Wanzel, MSW, LICSW

Eric Wanzel is a masters-level therapist at the University of Washington’s Center for Pain Relief.  Eric has a special interest in the intersections between chronic pain and PTSD and provides evidence-based interventions to this population including CBT, ACT, PRT, CPT, PE, and WET.  He received his foundational training at the State University of New York and specialized training with the Neuro Orthopaedic Institute Australasia (i.e. noigroup) in pain neuroscience education and graded motor imagery.  Eric strives to provide whole person and multidisciplinary healthcare to underserved populations in addition to educational outreach and training for healthcare providers.  

Elisabeth Powelson, MD, MSc

Elisabeth Powelson is trained in anesthesia and pain medicine and treats patients at the University of Washington’s Center for Pain Relief and Harborview Medical Center. Additionally, she is an acting assistant professor in Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine and a T32 Research Fellow at the Pediatric and Sleep Innovations Lab.  She has a special interest in post-traumatic pain, PTSD, and pain in older adults. She believes that pain treatment requires a comprehensive multimodal approach and focuses on a partnership with her patients to improve their overall wellness and improve their quality of life. 

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May 24, 2024
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