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Associate Professor Anthony Richardson

Dr Richardson is a Psychiatrist with a specialty in somatic psychotherapy and pain management. He started his professional career as a GP in the western suburbs of Sydney but was soon training as a psychotherapist before pursuing his interest in somatic and body –oriented techniques for people with medical issues.

Dr Richardson became a psychiatrist where he first encountered PTSD amongst veterans returning from the Vietnam War.  He has always worked in inner city hospitals, in both Sydney and the USA, with the homeless, dispossessed, drug- affected, and chronically mentally ill people. He finally returned to St Vincent’s hospital, Sydney. There he continues to work as a psychiatrist in the chronic pain clinic. He also became an Associate Professor in psychiatry at Notre Dame University where he helped organise the clinical teaching modules for medical students in psychiatry.

In his retirement Dr Richardson’s main interests are teaching medical student and registrars, and somatic psychotherapists. He teaches in Germany, Australia and the USA. He uses his knowledge of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and his somatic understanding coupled with his medical training to teach an understanding of the psychological issues in illness, and the linkage between mental illness and physical symptoms. He continues to consult with the psychiatry department at St Vincent’s Hospital because of his expertise in Personality and Somatoform Disorders.

Abstract – Clinical Master Class – 13 May 2020

Chronic Non Cancer Pain and PTSD

Survivors of trauma, who present with post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSD), often also present with chronic pain and general body discomfort in the form of headaches, body aches and pains, and muscle tension, without a medical diagnosis or apparent physical cause. In this presentation, Associate Professor Anthony Richardson will explore chronic non cancer pain and PTSD. He will define chronic pain and discuss different types of chronic pain, behaviours, beliefs and emotional responses associated with chronic pain, as well as critically evaluate the medical and psychological treatment of chronic pain. He will further elaborate on the cause of chronic pain in trauma survivors who present with PTSD, and will give some practical strategies for clinicians to assist survivors of trauma in managing their chronic pain.

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