The Scientific Foundations of the Bio-psychosocial Model

Psychosomatic Medicine's Contribution | taught by Dr Nick Penney

Course description

This is an abbreviated version of a presentation I made to the Association of Local Authority Medical Advisors in the UK in March 2016. The presentation considers the evidence from the modern definition of psychosomatic medicine, a holistic consideration of the interaction of mind & body and how this contributes to our experience of symptoms, suffering and disability.

I have modified the narration slightly to make it a little easier to follow for those who may not have a medical background, and left out a few of the more complex slides. However I hope it contributes a little to your understanding of how the mind and body interact with the central nervous system, particularly in relation to the sensation of pain. A recent study suggests that chronic pain is under reported in Western society, and that may sufferers cannot access good evidence-based advice and bio-psychosocial information. Understanding the complex interactions that contribute to our experience of pain can make a significant difference and opens us up to the possibilities that things can change.

This lecture highlights some of the science and thinking that went into the creation of my online recovery program and that informs my work with my patients in my clinical practice. I hope you find it informative, please feel free to email any questions you may have after watching it, and I will do my best to answer them.

Dr Nick August 2016

Dr Nick Penney
Dr Nick Penney
Course creator
  • Dr Nick Penney holds a PhD in Musculoskeletal Medicine from The Australian Centre of National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Queensland.
  • His research focussed on the Biopsychosocial model of pain and the obstacles to recovery from low back pain.
  • This understanding that the 'whats going on' in our lives is highly predictive of our ability to recover from pain led to training in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy with Professor Mark Williams to compliment his own mindfulness practice.
  • Dr Nick is also vocationally registered in Pain Management in New Zealand and a member of The International Society for the study of Pain (IASP).

Course Curriculum