psychologist in therapy group with older adultsFrom the Pittsburgh GRECC, this program is intended to train providers in the components, techniques, structure, and delivery of an effective Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Group for Veterans with chronic pain. It provides an approach to offering such groups, and it explains the concepts and tools developed and used by Dr. Beverly Thorn. 

Beverly Thorn, PhD is Professor Emerita of Psychology at the University of Alabama, where she was on the faculty for 30 years. She has been focused on dissemination and implementation of cognitive-behavioral therapy for chronic pain in low-income, multiply disadvantaged populations. She has written a guidance text on using CBT to help patients manage chronic pain, and she created therapist- and patient-materials for CBT for Chronic Pain for low-literacy populations. The efficacy of this intervention using the materials she developed was assessed via a clinical trial. Its results were published in 2018 and can be found here: 

Thorn BE, Eyer JC, Van Dyke BP et al.  Literacy-adapted cognitive behavioral therapy versus education for chronic pain at low-income clinics: A randomized controlled trial. Ann Intern Med. 2018 Apr 3;168(7):471-480

Patient and therapist manuals will be reviewed during this training, and digital copies of each are available, free of charge: Publications - Behavioral Pain Management Team (

Note: This program is not affiliated with or a substitute for the VA National CBT-CP Training Program, which uses a specific treatment protocol, particular workshops, and a 6-month consultation phase in which they demonstrate competence.


VA Learners can access the entire series on TMSGroup Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Pain

Benjamin Congedo, MS, NCC
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System

Session 1:
“Pain and Stress”

Session 2: “How the Brain Deals
with Pain & How to Deal with the Brain”

Session 3: “Getting Active and Other Useful Health Habits”

Session 4: “Pain and Emotions”

Session 5: “Pain and Communication”

Session 6: “Recognizing and Managing Thoughts That Work Against You”

Session 7: “Working with Deeper Beliefs”

Session 8: “Reviewing Your Pain Coping Toolbox (Your Gate Closers)”

Last modified: Friday, September 2, 2022, 2:40 PM