Chronic Pain Congress 2022

Johannes Vlaeyen

Johan W.S. Vlaeyen is professor at the Universities of Maastricht (NL) and Leuven (B). His main research expertise is on the behavioral, affective and motivational mechanisms underlying the transition from common acute aversive sensations to chronic bodily symptoms. His experimental work includes research on the acquisition of pain-related fear and avoidance behavior through direct experience, observational learning, and verbal-symbolic learning. Johan highly values translational research, and he and his team have developed customized cognitive-behavioral management strategies for individuals suffering chronic bodily symptoms and utilized replicated single-case experimental designs to evaluate the effects of these interventions. Johan Vlaeyen has published more than 400 scientific papers in international journals. He is on the editorial board of the flagship journal Pain, Clinical Journal of Pain, Scandinavian Journal of Pain, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, and Translational Behavioural Medicine. He is principal author of the book “Pain-related Fear: Exposure-based Treatment of Chronic Pain” (IASP Press 2012), co-editor of the book “Fordyce’s Behavioral Methods for chronic Pain and Illness republished with invited commentaries” (IASP Press 2014). He received the Pain Award of the Dutch Chapter of IASP and has been awarded Distinguished International Affiliate of the American Psychological Association, for “unusual and outstanding contributions” to health psychology in 2015. He has an adjunct research professorship at the University of South Australia (Adelaide Australia) and obtained an honorary doctorate at the University of Örebro (Sweden) for his scientific contributions in the area of health psychology. In 2015, he received a prestigious Methusalem structural research funding from the Flemish Government (Belgium) for the research program “Asthenes: from acute aversive sensations to chronic bodily symptoms”. He will serve as a Councilor of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) from October 2022.



Research Group Behavioral Medicine, Faculty of Psychology and Neurosciences, Maastricht University

Research Group Health Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, KU Leuven, University of Leuven

Research Interests:

Chronic Pain and Fear learning; Conditioning; Aversive bodily sensations; Avoidance behavior, Pavlovian-Instrumental transfer, Tinnitus, Network theory, Single-Case Experimental Designs.


Unidad de Estrategias de Afrontamiento Activo del Dolor