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Registration now open! Psychologically Informed Physical Therapy (PIPT): Pragmatic Application for Low Back Pain


August 26, 2017 | 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The biopsychosocial model is currently a paradigm from which all health care professionals are expected to manage patients with musculoskeletal conditions. In such a model, physical therapists are expected to recognize pain associated psychosocial distress and to modify their treatment approach accordingly. However, a gap exists between learning how to identify pain-associated psychosocial distress in patients, and applying modified treatment required to effectively manage these patients by decreasing the chance they will experience continued disability from musculoskeletal pain. Download flyer here.

Course Overview

In this course participants will gain skills needed for this biopsychosocial approach through: 1) review of a screening tool used to identify pain associated psychosocial distress; 2) training in the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and 3) introduction to a psychologically informed intervention approach.

This course consists of two components: 1) pre-course reading material and 2) a live 1-day workshop that is being offered in multiple locations around the US. The pre-course reading material is specifically selected to introduce participants to key concepts prior to attending the live workshop, in order to provide foundational information that helps to maximize workshop training experiences. The 1-day workshop describes a psychologically informed intervention program that offers: 1) a condensed and focused summary of CBT principles with basic training for specific enhanced communication and pain coping skills; and 2) examples of key activity modification approaches. The main components of the course include theory, clinical application, and strategies to increase adherence. Participant feedback will be used to highlight the strengths and limitations of this course, allowing for modification for dissemination to future physical therapy audiences.

Guest Faculty

Carol Greco, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Psychiatry
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Licensed Psychologist, Certified MBSR Instructor
UPMC Center for Integrative Medicine

Carol Greco PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She is a licensed psychologist and researcher specializing in pain and chronic illness. Dr. Greco has over 20 years of clinical, teaching, and research experience with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness meditation, and related approaches. Dr. Greco worked for approximately 10 years with two internationally known leaders in the field of CBT and biopsychosocial interventions for pain, Drs. Dennis Turk and Tom Rudy.

Dr. Greco has developed and tested CBT and integrative medicine interventions for persons with chronic back pain, systemic lupus erythematosus, and temporomandibular disorders. She has been principal investigator on three large NIH-funded projects and a PCORI methodology study. Her areas of research include randomized controlled trials of mind-body interventions for persons with chronic pain and chronic illness, and evaluating associations of psychosocial factors with chronic pain and disability. Dr. Greco’s research programs also include measuring healing factors in treatment, such as the patient-provider connection, positive outlook, and treatment expectations.  

Dr. Greco is a co-Investigator on the TARGET trial, a PCORI-funded, pragmatic trial that aims to reduce progression from acute to chronic back pain in persons who have significant psychosocial risk factors.  She serves on the TARGET intervention team, and trains physical therapists to use cognitive-behavioral pain management skills and communication skills with their high risk patients.  


Jason Beneciuk, PT, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor
Department of Physical Therapy
Investigator, Brooks – PHHP
Research Collaboration
University of Florida
Brooks Rehabilitation

Dr. Beneciuk received his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in 2002 where he also completed an Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship in 2006. He received his PhD in Rehabilitation Science and MPH (Master of Public Health) with an epidemiology concentration in 2011 from the University of Florida where he was supported by a National Institutes of Health T32 pre-doctoral fellowship.  In addition to his roles in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Florida, he also serves as a clinical investigator with musculoskeletal concentration in the Brooks – PHHP Research Collaboration which is a partnership between Brooks Rehabilitation (Jacksonville, Florida) and the College of Public Health & Health Professions at the University of Florida. He is currently supported by the National Institutes of Health K12 Rehabilitation Research Career Development Program. His research interests focus on secondary prevention of musculoskeletal pain and include risk-stratification strategies, psychologically informed physical therapy, implementation science, and health services research. He currently teaches evidence-based practice in the entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of Florida.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Summarize relationships between pain neuroscience, pain models, and the development and maintenance of chronic LBP.
  2. Implement psychologically informed physical therapy principles for patients with LBP.
  3. Identify patients at high risk for transitioning from acute to chronic LBP.
  4. Apply targeted treatment for patients at high risk for transitioning from acute to chronic LBP.


Cost is $250.00

Registration is now open!