Fridays, June 7-July 19/Online

Treating Chronic Somatic Pain: Integrating Psychoanalysis and Neuroscience


with Frances Sommer Anderson, PhD, SEP

A 6-session online mini-course on Friday mornings, starting June 7th.

12 CEs are available upon completion of this course.

This series presentation has been arranged by the Institute’s Conference Advisory Board through the special efforts of Dr. Jean Petrucelli.


Somatic pain, a private subjective experience, lends itself readily to the psychoanalytic clinicians’ intervention. In this experiential and didactic course, therapists will learn how to intervene effectively with people in chronic pain, once a medical evaluation has ruled out structural and/or organic disease as the source.

Through discussions of contemporary research on the neuroscience of pain, analysts will learn how to utilize knowledge about neural plasticity in their clinical work.  Clinical case material, both published and from ongoing treatments, will be used to illustrate how integration of Interpersonal/Relational principles with the neuroscience of pain encoding will expand the clinicians’ technical repertoire.



Classes will be held online, on Fridays, from 10:00AM-12Noon/Eastern time, on the following dates:

June 7, 14, 21, 28 and July 12 & 19

Notes about the Series:

Preparation for Class 1 will begin with an assignment on May 17th, emailed to students. Throughout the series, Dr. Anderson will provide all readings and links to materials for each class on the Friday before the next Friday class.


Breaking Out of Pain:  Living the Legacy of John E. Sarno, MD   Leonard-Segal, A., Sherman, E., Feinblatt, A, and Anderson, F. S. (2023) Atmosphere Press.

Neuroplastic Transformation Workbook, Moskowitz, M. H., & Golden, M. D. (2013). Available as an eBook on the website of Marla Golden:



Class 1 FRIDAY, JUNE 7:  Defining Somatic Pain as an Interpersonal/Relational Construction

Preparation for Class 1 begins with an assignment on May 17, 2024

Class 2 FRIDAY, JUNE 14: The Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on the Development of Chronic Pain: Early Psychodynamic Contributions

Class 3 FRIDAY, JUNE 21: The Contribution of John E. Sarno, MD

Class 4 FRIDAY, JUNE 28: Further Elaborations of Sarno’s Contribution

Class 5 FRIDAY, JULY 12: The Neuroscience of Pain: Neuroplasticity

Class 6 FRIDAY, JULY 19: The Contributions of Physicians Influenced by John E. Sarno, MD




PROFESSIONALS: Early Registration extended through May 17th, $675

Starting May 18th, Professionals $775

CANDIDATES & STUDENTS: Early Registration extended through May 17th, $400

Starting May 18th, Candidates & Students $500

Note: Refunds for the full amount of the series cost will be made for requests made by or before May 31st, one week in advance of the series start date. 



Frances Sommer Anderson, PhD, SEP, a psychologist and psychoanalyst with advanced training in treating trauma, has specialized in treating chronic somatic pain since 1979. She is recognized internationally for her contributions to the psychoanalytic literature on treating chronic pain, expanding what she learned from John E. Sarno, MD and Arlene Feinblatt, PhD while working at Rusk Rehabilitation-NYU Langone Health.

With the late Lewis Aron, she co-edited Relational Perspectives on the Body (1998), the ground-breaking volume credited with bringing the body into relational psychoanalytic theory and practice.  In 2008, she edited Bodies in Treatment: The Unspoken Dimension, and in 2013, co-authored with Dr. Eric Sherman, Pathways to Pain Relief, also available in Spanish. She and Dr. Sherman teach courses on treating chronic pain for psychoanalysts. Breaking Out of Pain:  Living the Legacy of John E. Sarno, MD, published in December 2023, was co-authored with Andrea Leonard-Segal, MD, Eric Sherman, PsyD, and Arlene Feinblatt, PhD.

Dr. Anderson was the invited lecturer in 2015 at London’s 22nd John Bowlby Memorial Conference, which honored the contributions of Dr. Sarno. Her paper, It Was Not Safe to Feel Angry: Disrupted Early Attachment and the Development of Chronic Pain in Later Life, was published in 2017. In 2016, she was the only clinician invited to present clinical case material at the American Psychosomatic Society’s research conference, Neuroscience of Pain: Early Life Adversity, Mechanisms and Treatment. In collaboration with cognitive neuroscientists Richard D. Lane, MD and Ryan Smith, PhD, she published a theoretical model to explain how physical pain can override emotional pain (2018).

To read more about Dr. Anderson, visit:

Also:  and

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