Paulina Assaf, ASW, is a Co-Founder and Director of Operations at the Pain Reprocessing Therapy Center. Paulina has presented at various chronic pain conferences, aiming to build a comprehensive network of certified practitioners to treat the millions who suffer from chronic pain. In her clinical practice, Paulina utilizes pain reprocessing therapy and mindfulness techniques to help patients understand their own mind-body connection in order to deactivate fear signals, and subsequently pain signals, in the brain.
Daniella Deutsch, ASW, is a Co-Founder, content developer, and the lead trainer at the Pain Reprocessing Therapy Center, training and certifying over a thousand mental health clinicians and practitioners across various health disciplines. Daniella has presented on the topic of pain treatment at conferences and trainings internationally and is currently involved in a PRT clinical trial and ongoing pain research. She is a psychotherapist treating chronic pain using evidence-based practices to reduce pain and improve mind and body wellness.
Yoni K. Ashar
Yoni K. Ashar, PhD, is a clinical psychologist, neuroscientist, and father of three. Yoni’s research uses functional MRI brain imaging, natural language processing, and other tools to understand how mind and brain processes influence health, especially chronic pain. Yoni is an NIH-funded postdoctoral associate at Weill Cornell Medicine, and he completed his doctorate at the University of Colorado Boulder. He conducted the first randomized trial testing Pain Reprocessing Therapy (PRT), conducts PRT clinician trainings, and leads a PRT supervision group. His research in chronic pain has been featured in several news outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Vox, and the Coloradan. You can see more of Yoni’s work on Twitter and Google Scholar.
Vanessa Blackstone, ASW, is the Executive Director of the Pain Psychology Center and clinical trainer/consultant of Pain Reprocessing Therapy. She is a direct, transparent therapist, specializing in mindfulness-based approaches. She integrates cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic therapies with a solution-focused, strengths-based approach. Vanessa upholds a sophisticated set of interpersonal skills allowing her to connect with others and create a safe, supportive, and empowering environment. Following her own personal recovery with chronic pain, Vanessa understands the importance of meeting the unique needs of each patient. She also has a background in treating substance-use disorders, sex therapy, couples therapy, and works as an on set wellness professional.
John Gasienica, ASW, brings personal understanding and empathy alongside contemporary methodology to clients experiencing pain, anxiety, and depression. Using a light-hearted demeanor, John uniquely caters Pain Reprocessing Therapy with a cognitive behavioral and mindfulness-based approach to each individual client. John received his master’s degree from the University of Southern California and leads the Business Development and Outreach Program at the Pain Psychology Center.
Healing Workshop Facilitator
Mike Averill, ASW, is a psychotherapist specializing in Pain Reprocessing Therapy. Mike incorporates knowledge from meditation and breathwork traditions into his general approach to therapy. He emphasizes the natural tendency of the nervous system to seek out wellness by prioritizing the development of a relative sense of safety. He also weaves in tools to build self-compassion, resilience, and less rigid ways of thinking and being. Mike received his master’s degree from he University of Southern California, is certified in yoga and breathwork, and is in training for Somatic Experiencing.
Alan Gordon, LCSW is the Executive Director of the Pain Psychology Center in Los Angeles. Gordon recently completed a groundbreaking neuroimaging study on the efficacy of Pain Reprocessing Therapy (PRT) in conjunction with the University of Colorado-Boulder. He was featured on CBS’s The Doctors, where he conducted the first fMRI case study of a patient eliminating chronic pain. He is an adjunct assistant professor at USC and has presented on the topic of pain treatment at conferences and trainings throughout the country.
Dr. Howard Schubiner
Dr. Howard Schubiner, MD is board certified in pediatrics and internal medicine and is the director of the Mind Body Medicine Center at Providence Hospital in Southfield, MI. He is a Clinical Professor at Wayne State University School of Medicine and has authored over 60 publications in scientific journals and books. Dr. Schubiner has conducted research on psychophysiological disorders and is currently working on a large grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the effects of emotional expression therapy for fibromyalgia.