Pain Psychologist

SUMMARY: Under general direction, provides psychological services in the counseling, diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of patients with mental and emotional disorders; prepares reports on cases assigned relating to disposition and planning of treatment; conducts group and individual therapy; does outreach; administers and interprets psychological tests. Performs related duties as required.

DUTIES & ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS: NOTE: The following are the duties performed by employees in this classification. However, employees may perform other related duties at an equivalent level. Not all duties listed are necessarily performed by each individual in the classification.

  1. Administers a wide variety of standardized and special tests; prepares reports including results of tests, diagnosis, prognosis, and other findings relevant to future planning and disposition of cases.
  2. Attends staff meetings for review of cases in progress and for program evaluation; attends training sessions relating to professional developments; confers with other departments and agencies regarding patients referred by them; provides consultative services to a wide range of community programs and agencies.
  3. Directs and evaluates the work of students and/or trainees, and may supervise other staff for clinical licensing purposes without formal supervisory responsibilities.
  4. Makes psychological evaluations of assigned cases; determines appropriate diagnostic procedures and tests to be used; do outreach and conduct clinical interviews with clients and other interested persons to develop information pertinent to diagnosis and treatment.
  5. Performs psychotherapeutic counseling in group, individual, and family situations; confers with senior staff members on unusual problems of interpretation and implications drawn from diagnosis and therapy; assists in research project.


Education: PhD or PsyD from an APA-approved school or university training program, or regionally recognized school or university, following APA guidelines for clinical psychology; or verification of acceptance of a doctoral dissertation and completion of all other requirements for a PhD or PsyD from an APA approved school or university training program, or regionally accredited school or university following APA guidelines for clinical psychology.

Minimum Experience: One year of supervised clinical experience in a pre-doctoral and post-doctoral APA- approved internship program or its equivalent (e.g. APPIC or CAPIC member programs).

Description of the Interdisciplinary Pain Medicine Program:

Interdisciplinary pain care, which involves medication optimization, interventional procedures, physical therapy, pain psychology and other forms of psychosocial support, is considered the gold standard for treatment. This approach helps diagnose and manage each contributing factor to the patient's pain condition.

The Program is an interdisciplinary treatment experience focused on a number of chronic pain states as outlined above. The aim of the program is to allow patients to meet their functional goals via a biopsychosocial approach to their pain experience.

We treat a spectrum of pain conditions from low impact, single area of pain, to high impact pain which implicates not only multiple areas of the body, but the patient's mental health and social function. For patients which may seemingly only need a simple medication and/or intervention procedure, we may still offer them the full complement of assessments and interdisciplinary care to ensure the patient and referring service has appropriate expectations for outcomes, as well as contingency plans should the intervention not work. Based upon our assessment of their pain condition, we may opt to place them into a low, moderate, or high intensity pain program with varying levels of visits and resources for management.

Ultimately, once referred patients have either stabilized on a safe regimen, or exhausted all resources of our program, they will be expected to return to either primary care, or back to their referring service for monitoring of their pain condition and maintenance of treatment.

Examples of Interdisciplinary Treatment Modalities:

-Medication optimization and co-management with referring service

-Interventions: Fluoroscopic, ultrasound, botox, infusion therapy, neuro-modulation

-Physical Therapy: In-house as well as external referrals for land based and/or pool based PT, reconditioning, TENS, manual therapy

-Pain Psychology: Group sessions, pain education, external referrals for formal pain psychology

-Social Work Services: Group sessions, pain education, pain-home health resources

-CAM: Holistic tx recommendations, acupuncture


(1) Friday Morning Interdisciplinary Rounds with Pain Physicians, Pain Psychology, Physical Therapy, Social Work, Addiction / Buprenorphine Clinic Providers

(2) Referral to other specialists for consultation (eg- orthopedics, neurosurgery)

Conditions Treated:

  • Headache
  • Oralfacial pain
  • Chronic neck pain
  • Chronic back pain
  • Chronic pain after surgery or injury
  • Perioperative pain assessment
  • Chronic musculoskeletal pain: joints, bursa, myofascial pain
  • Neuropathic pain: peripheral neuropathy, peripheral nerve injury, CRPS, etc..
  • Chronic abdominal pain
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Opioid medication risk stratification and recommendations for dosing or tapering
  • Pain and Addiction co-management
  • Cancer pain co-management
  • Biopsychosocial pain management
  • Holistic pain management
  • Interventional procedures: Fluoroscopic, ultrasound, steroid or botox injections, infusion therapy, neuro-modulation