PEP010: Pain Assessment & Intervention

– 45 Hours of CE Credit / Course Fee $750

Presented by Richard A. Sherman, Ph.D.

Richard A. Sherman

Richard A. Sherman

M.S., Ph.D. (Program Director)

Course Concept and Objectives:

Students learn by (1) watching prerecorded audiovisual lectures and movies, (2) reading text files and standard texts, and (3) interacting with their instructor via e-mail. They answer short essay questions after each lecture rather than taking exams. Previous students have found that this course takes between 45 and 95 hours of work to perform. The course includes an optional, no additional cost section for licensed clinicians who have their own psychophysiological recording / biofeedback equipment during which they can assess two patients then discuss the assessments with the course instructor via Zoom.

Pain is among the most common reasons patients approach the health care community and is, tragically, among the least successfully managed problems. The assessment and management of acute and chronic pain are fraught with ignorance, poor training, difficulties, complexities, and controversies all of which combine to produce pervasive misdiagnoses and ludicrously improper, ineffective care. Thus, patients with both acute and chronic pain frequently receive poor care from the medical community and are left to fend for themselves as best they can in the world of rumor, self-medication, and charlatans.

It is the objective of this course to provide you with the information you need to understand the underlying problems, be able to perform a reasonable assessment of patients with chronic and acute pain both on and off the ward, recognize when pain is not being appropriately or adequately ameliorated, and to be able to make or recommend interventions consistent with your clinical skills. Specifically, this course intends to:

  1. Provide you with a basic understanding of the physiology, biochemistry, and psychology underlying pain mechanisms.
  2. Provide you with sufficient knowledge about how pain mechanisms work to apply the knowledge to their evaluative and therapeutic interventions.
  3. Give detailed information about several pain syndromes (including headache, RSD, low back pain, and phantom limb pain) so you will be abreast of current knowledge and be aware that similar depths of knowledge exist for most pain syndromes and must be searched out before attempting to evaluate or treat people with the problem.
  4. Summarize the strengths and weaknesses of  evidence supporting the efficacy of self-regulatory interventions for prevention and reduction of  various pain problems.
  5. Provide extensive examples of how to perform evaluations and non-pharmacological interventions.

DISCLAIMER: Completion of this continuing education course is strictly for educational / informational purposes and does not imply competency, proficiency, and/or experience. The course completion certificate is not a clinical certification nor a license to practice. 

How we are going to proceed through the course:

This home study course is divided into 31 units. Each unit consists of a recorded audiovisual lecture, one of more chapters of reading in the texts, review questions to be answered, and an email discussion with the instructor. The lecture portion of the course is presented through a series of audiovisual lectures profusely illustrated by power-point slides as well as eleven movies. There isn’t enough lecture time to cover all of the practices – especially those related to pharmacology – so your reading will be very important. When you sign up for the course, you will be given immediate access to the course files through either a drop box or large file transfer program. 

After each lecture, you will answer a brief series of essay questions about each topic covered during the lecture, e-mail your answers to the instructor, and then exchange e-mails about each topic. This will give you an opportunity to ask questions and for the instructor to fill in gray areas and provide additional information on topics of special interest to you. Students participating in the optional clinical assessment section must leave extra time for several real time zoom meetings.

Accessing course materials:

Course materials will be sent to your email address through either “transfer large files” or “Dropbox” after your payment for the course is processed. This may take several days. No CDs are sent to you.

Computer and Computer Knowledge Requirements:

Anybody with a modern computer and a bit of basic understanding of computer operation (at the level of being able to send e-mails) can play this course with minimal problems. You must have a computer (a) capable of connecting to the internet and running a typical internet program, (b) containing/running a modern word processor such as Microsoft word or Word Perfect, (c) the capability to play sounds such as music (has speakers and appropriate software which normally come with any modern computer), and (d) a slide viewing program such as Power Point (you can probably get a slide viewing program free off the internet if you don’t have one). Any modern (e.g., built within the last ten years), IBM style computer running Windows 98 and more recent platforms (e.g., XP or Windows 8) should be able to do this. Speed, hard disk size, and RAM are not factors for computers in the above category.

Dozens of students have used recent Apple products (MACs etc.) for the course however they frequently have more difficulty playing the course materials than PC users do.

If you are using a MAC type of computer, you must have a current version of “quicktime”. If you do not have it, you can download it for free from the web

Required Text:

Sherman, R: Pain Assessment and Intervention from a Psychophysiological Perspective. 2nd ed. Published by the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB) in 2012.

 An updated version of the text is included with your course materials

Very Close to Required but you can get away without them:

Optional Texts: 

  1. Schwartz, M., Andrasik, F. et al (2016) Biofeedback: A Practitioner’s guide. 4th ed. Guilford Press of New York, 2016.
  2. VanGriensven, H. Strong, J., Unruh, A. (2013) Pain: A textbook for health professionals, 2nd ed. NY.: Churchill Livingstone. ISBN 9780702034787.  Cost about $51 (used) to $85 (new).
  3. Turk, D, Melzack R. (2010). Handbook of Pain Assessment; 3rd Edition. NY: Guilford Press. ISBN 9781606239766. Cost about $85 new.


 Richard A. Sherman received his doctorate in psychobiology from New York University in 1973. He has accrued over fifty years of experience teaching and performing research and clinical work in behavioral medicine and related fields. Much of this work was accomplished during his 22 years in the US Army from which he retired as a lieutenant colonel in the medical department. Dr. Sherman is recognized as a superb teacher and has given courses at virtually all levels of adult education including numerous undergraduate, medical resident, and graduate school courses as well as continuing education courses for clinical professionals in both on-site and distance based formats.  Dr. Sherman is best known for his work elucidating mechanisms and treatments for phantom limb pain, temporal relationships between changes in muscle tension and pain, and environmental studies on mechanisms of and behavioral treatments for headaches, low back pain, and urinary incontinence. This work has resulted in over 150 articles (mostly in peer reviewed journals) and several books for both professionals and patients. His research has been supported by numerous private foundations, for-profit organizations, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, and the National Institutes of Health. He has been president of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback twice. He founded the Behavioral Medicine Research and Training Foundation in 2000 and is currently its director. He developed the psychophysiology doctoral program in 2000 and moved it to Saybrook University where he is currently full time faculty in the Department of Psychophysiology. His most recent book “Applied Psychophysiological Research” was published in 2022.L


There is one year to complete the course. Just contact us at admin@behavmedfoundation.org or 800 530 6658 to get started.

Duration of course validity:

There is one year to complete the course. Courses not completed by that time are void and must be repurchased if still available. No refunds are provided for courses not completed within one year of purchase.

CE Credit:

These are continuing education, not university accredited, courses. The Behavioral Medicine R&T Foundation is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Behavioral Medicine R&T Foundation maintains responsibility for this program and its content.


This course is accepted by the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance for recertification continuing education.

Payment, Refund, Scholarship, and cancellation policies:  

Full payment for each course is required before access to the course is provided. Payment is by credit card though our web site’s secure ordering section or by check in US dollars made out to the Foundation. Full refund will be made until students are given access to the course materials. After getting access to the course materials there is no refund at all as the Foundation has committed its resources to you and you have access to all of the course materials. A course would only be cancelled due to an extreme emergency on the part of the course instructor or the Foundation. In the highly unlikely event a course is cancelled, you would receive a full refund.


The Foundation gives scholarships consisting of 25% off the cost of the course(s) to (a) students and professionals (e.g. clinicians, coaches, teachers) from emerging nations and (b) full time graduate students in developed nations.

Questions / further information?

Contact Dr. Richard Sherman (director of the Behavioral Medicine R&T Foundation)  at admin@behavmedfoundation.org or 1.800.530.6658.

Administrative Information

Conflict of Interest: Neither the Behavioral Medicine Research & Training Foundation, its staff, nor the course instructor have any conflict of interest involving materials presented in this course.

Student comments about the courses and instructors:

Students who wish to comment about the courses and instructors other than through the “end of course” evaluations may wish to use the Foundation’s account at the anonymous comment submission site Incogneato (www.incognea.to). When a student submits a comment to our account (https://ansr.me/VWv70) on the site, there is no way for us to know who sent the comment unless the student provides an email. Students are always welcome to submit comments to this site. We take them very seriously.

Students who wish to make a formal complaint about a course or instructor can do so by following the Foundation’s grievance process which is detailed in the document by that name. Students can request the document from the program’s administrator by emailing admin@behavmedfourndation.org.