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Sponsored by the Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy Faculty

It’s Not All in Your Head
The Diagnosis and Treatment of Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms

Angela Cooper, PhDcooper

Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, 9AM-5:15PM

(Registration and continental breakfast, 8:30-9)

Fees and Continuing Education Credits (credit hours)


Regular $180

By Member Level:

Contributing $144
Sustaining $126
Silver $117
Gold $108

Current WSP Students $60

At the Washington School of Psychiatry, 5028 Wisconsin Ave #400 Washington DC 20016


Research suggests that approximately one-third to one-half of primary care visits are related to psychological factors. These patients, who suffer who suffer from a myriad of disorders, including migraine headaches, back pain, and gastrointestinal disorders, can be a burden to the primary care physicians who are usually on the front line of treatment. The cost for these disorders alone is estimated to be 100 billion annually in the U.S. These patients often experience little relief from their symptoms, in spite of multiple referrals to specialists and costly diagnostic tests. Both patients and their physicians end up frustrated by the lack of improvement.

Intensive Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) is one of the few treatments that has been shown in research to improve and, in many cases, completely resolve these long-standing medical conditions. These conditions have been variously described as Mind-Body Disorders or Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms (MUPS).  Given the prevalence of these disorders and the untold suffering that these patients endure, one of the major challenges in our health system today is to find a way to provide treatments that focus on resolving the underlying emotional conflicts that actually cause these physical maladies. The opioid epidemic of the past decade highlights the urgency of improving the diagnosis and coordination of care for patients whose conditions cannot be treated through biological treatments alone.

On September 7, 2019 Dr. Angela Cooper, a psychotherapy researcher from Dalhouise University in Halifax Nova Scotia, will present on the diagnosis and treatment of MUPS. This workshop will be of interest to both physicians and psychotherapists alike. Dr. Cooper will present video recordings of psychotherapy sessions demonstrating how conditions such as chronic pain, IBS and neurological symptoms can often be resolved, often in relatively short-term treatments of 20 sessions or less. 



9 am- 10:15     MUPS Theory and Key Concepts
10:15-10: 45    Coffee
10:45-12          Clinical Assessment: Anxiety Pathways and Common Defence Patterns
12-1pm            Lunch
1-2:15              MUS Treatment Process 1
2:15-2:45         Coffee
2:45-4              MUS Treatment Process 2
4-5                   Skill Building & Discussion


Dr. Angela Cooper is an Assistant Professor at Dalhousie University, Halifax,Canada and a Clinical Psychologist specializing in ISTDP. She currently works at the Centre for Emotions and Health and has published research demonstrating the potential clinical and cost benefits of providing brief talking therapies for MUS in a primary care setting.  She regularly teaches and trains medical doctors, medical residents, nurses and other healthcare professionals in detecting emotional factors underlying medically unexplained symptoms and offering brief interventions to help with these difficulties.




online registration has closed. There still some seats available for registration at the door.

Cancellations and Refunds

Refunds will be made for cancellations received at the School office in writing at least 10 days before the seminar date and are subject to a non-refundable administrative fee of $50.

Who should attend?

The workshop is intended for psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, licensed professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, physicians, medical students, and other graduate students.


The Washington School of Psychiatry is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Washington School of Psychiatry maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

The School is approved by the Social Work Board of the State of Maryland as a provider of continuing education for social workers in DC, MD, VA and WV.

The Washington School of Psychiatry has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6388. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. The Washington School of Psychiatry is solely responsible for all aspects of the program.

The School is accredited by MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The School designates each session for a maximum of 6_ AMA PRA Category I Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Disclosure of Commercial Support and the Unlabeled use of a commercial product. No member of the planning committee and no member of the faculty for this event have a financial interest or other relationship with any commercial product.