About Beth Darnall

Beth Darnall, PhD, is a Stanford pain scientist, international speaker, evidence-based psychologist, and respected author. She is an advocate for patient-centered pain treatment and research.

O Magazine and Washington Post interviews on opioids

The April 2018 issue of O Magazine includes a few of my comments in an article that addresses addiction risks for opioids ("Why prescription opioids are so addictive" by Peg Rosen). What's not stated in this article is my belief that opioids can and do help some people living with chronic pain. This is a nuanced issue that requires individual consideration and treatment planning. Right now the national focus is on opioid risks, and while I [...]

By |2019-04-02T15:18:25-07:00April 15th, 2018|

Scientific American: The science of pain relief mindset interventions

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xX4kIBdPToU I was pleased to be invited by Scientific American to post a blog describing our work on targeted mindset interventions for pain relief and opioid reduction. This work holds promises for dismantling common barriers to pain psychology treatment in outpatients and surgical settings because the interventions are brief, low-cost, and some are even online! Read the blog post here.

By |2019-04-02T15:18:26-07:00April 10th, 2018|

Our new JAMA study on opioid tapering challenges assumptions, holds promise for patients

Chronic pain affects up to one-third of the world population. We recognize that an individual approach to treating pain is needed and that for some patients, prescription opioids are necessary. However, the overemphasis on treating chronic pain with opioids has been associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. With 6.8% of the U.S. population now taking long-term opioids, there is an urgent need to reduce opioids and patient risks and to treat pain better. In my team’s [...]

By |2019-04-02T15:18:26-07:00February 19th, 2018|

“The Tao of Chronic Pain Relief” My feature in Jan/Feb 2018 issue

I was honored when Stephen Kiesling, the editor of Spirituality & Health, asked me to contribute content on addressing chronic pain with psychological strategies for the magazine. I ended up having a lot to say, and compiled it into a 5-page feature for the Jan/Feb 2018 issue! In the feature I describe the role of psychology in the experience and treatment of pain, and most importantly -- how pain can serve as a useful teacher that guides [...]

By |2019-04-02T15:18:26-07:00January 4th, 2018|

TIME Features Science-Backed Pain & Stress Relief

Dr. Emma Seppälä and I were pleased to publish in Time Health "3 Science-backed Ways to Relieve Pain and Stress"! We focus on natural, empowering relief techniques that can help you feel better. Stress and pain are inevitable parts of life. As many as 1 in 3 individuals lives with ongoing pain, and everyone is likely to experience it at some point in their life. While you cannot always control what happens to you, you can [...]

By |2019-04-02T15:18:26-07:00August 9th, 2017|

Changing Mindset for Pain Relief

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is evidence-based medicine for reducing the detrimental effects of negative mindset in the context of pain. Transforming negative mindset is shown to reduce pain and improve pain treatment outcomes. The best part is that psychological treatment is non-pharmacological and very low risk. In fact, treating negative mindset in the context of pain can help pain medications work better – which may lead to fewer pills. Click here to read Beth Darnall’s full story [...]

By |2019-04-02T15:18:27-07:00May 23rd, 2017|

FREE Webinar on Alternatives to Opioids for Pain Treatment

Please join me and the President of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, Dr. Steve Stanos, on May 9, 2017, from 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM CST, for a lively discussion on reducing opioid use in the treatment of chronic pain. Discussion topics include: The psychology of pain and its role in determining a path to treatment Leading non-opioid treatment modalities to address chronic pain and the latest research on pain catastrophizing The need to support [...]

By |2019-04-02T15:18:27-07:00May 8th, 2017|

“Scientific American” Feature on Treating Pain without Pills

The opioid crisis is forcing doctors to take different approaches to treating pain. In some cases, patients who have been prescribed opioids for years or decades are being abandoned or forced to quickly taper off opioids -- two poor approaches. Other patients are being steered in new directions that can improve pain and function with lower risks. I was honored to be featured in this Scientific American story (May 2017, Author: Stephani Sutherland, Ph.D.) in which the [...]

By |2019-04-02T15:18:27-07:00April 22nd, 2017|

Using Psychology to Help People Have Less Pain After Surgery

At the Stanford Systems Neuroscience and Pain Lab, one of our active research studies is focused on how to help prepare people who are heading to surgery. We are equipping them with the information and skills they can use to reduce their own distress and discomfort after surgery. Ideally, this helps people need less pain medication. The program is called "My Surgical Success," and we are testing in women undergoing surgery for breast cancer at Stanford [...]

By |2019-04-02T15:18:28-07:00December 20th, 2016|

Pain Psychology Resources Available to You Right Now

Optimize your mind-body connection with information and resources that empower you to reduce pain and its impact on your brain and body. Understanding Pain in less than 5 minutes, and what to do about it! (5:00) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_3phB93rvI Learn out Pain Psychology (12:47) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEPCjJfhs_8 What Is Pain Catastrophizing? (6:53) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnNAF4EPFzc Free Online Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) 8-week course. Learn more here. Free Mindfulness App and Guided Meditations. Download here. Free Mobile Relaxation App:  Breathe2Relax (from the Department of Defense) Download here.

By |2019-04-02T15:18:28-07:00September 11th, 2016|