Psychoneuroimmunology: understanding the relationship between mind and body


This course is given online. It includes 15 hours of course content.

Instructors: Dr. Martin Drapeau, psychologist ( and Dr. Annett Korner, psychologist (

Prerequisites: In order to register for and complete this course, participants need to be a licensed professional, or need to have completed or be in the process of completing a bachelor’s degree in human relations (for example, psychology, counselling, nursing, occupational therapy, social work/MFT, guidance counselling, psychoeducation, or related disciplines).


This course was originally designed for professionals wishing to meet the requirements of Bill 21 to practice as psychotherapists in Quebec. Bill 21 requires 45 hours of training on the link between biology and psychotherapy. These 45 hours must address:

  • the link between mind and body
  • the nervous system and anatomy
  • medication

This 15-hour course focuses exclusively on the first point, the link between mind and body. If you need to complete training on the link between mind and body to become a psychotherapist as per Bill 21, this course is for you! The Order of Psychologists of Quebec has reviewed the course outline and approved this course.

If, however you are not working toward your psychotherapy permit, if you are for example already in practice, you will still benefit from taking this course. If you plan to have it count toward continuing education credits, you should however contact your regulatory body and see what their requirements are.


The course will cover the following themes:

  • Fundamental concepts in health and medical psychology, psychoimmunology, and in psychosomatic medicine and the relationship between mind and body; overview of models of health and illness, including of the biopsychosocial model of health.
  • Psychological reactions to physical illness and psychosocial aspects affecting medical diseases: how medical illness affects psychological health; how emotions, thoughts, and behaviour affect physical illness; acute and chronic illness (heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, arthritis); pain; life-threatening illnesses such as cancer; health compromising behaviours
  • Stress: physiological stress axis and the sympathetic and parasympathetic system; stress versus relaxation; acute, chronic stress; physical symptoms of stress, cortisol, stress reactivity, acute stress paradigm, distress tolerance, after stress effects, vulnerability factors of stress, coping with stress, stress management; moderators of the experience of stress
  • Sleep: sleep physiology; circadian clock; functions of sleep: restoration, memory processing, dreaming; sleep disorders; mental disorders affected by/affecting sleep; effect of food and drugs on sleep
  • Symptoms that are common to somatic and psychological disorders: introduction.
  • Physiological symptoms in common mental disorders (e.g., depression, eating disorders)
  • Mental disorders and psychological symptoms caused by somatic disorders, and differential diagnosis
  • Specific conditions: Somatic Symptom Disorder and Conversion Disorder


As per the OPQ’s interpretation of Bill 21 and of the hours and credits required by domain, participants may expect to invest 2 hours of personal work for each hour spent “in class” (online) for readings, course preparation, studying and the assignment(s) or examination(s).


As per the regulations of the Order of Psychologists of Quebec, this course involves completing two exams, one mid-way through the course and another at the end of the course.

This course is graded as Pass/Fail.

Important information

The registration fee includes all applicable taxes. Our GST number is 82873 8880 RT0001. Our PST number is 1218616310.

Refunds are not possible, unfortunately, because of the agreement with our online platform provider.

I hope you have fun going through this course. If you have any questions, please email me at

Dr. Martin Drapeau, Ph.D., clinical psychologist


A number of documents are available to you in each lesson taken online. In addition to those documents, you may wish to consider the following documents and resources:



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The course outline

If you wish to download the course outline and send it to the Order of psychologists of Quebec or to your regulatory body for approval, you can download it from our website.

15 Lessons

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Chapter 1: Fundamental Concepts in Health and Medical Psychology

An evolving area to understand the relationship between mind and body

Chapter 2: Psychological Reactions to Physical Illnesses

Psychological reactions to physical illnesses and medical diseases and how these medical illnesses affects our psychological health.

Chapter 2: Psychological Reactions to Physical Illnesses

Chapter 2: Psychological Reactions to Physical Illnesses

Chapter 3: Stress

Chapter 3: Stress

Chapter 4: Sleep

Chapter 4: Sleep

Your first test: Quizzz time!

Chapter 5: Physiological Symptoms in Common Mental Disorders

Chapter 6: Mental Disorders and Psychological Symptoms Caused by Somatic Disorders

Chapter 7: Somatic Symptom Disorder, Conversion Disorder, Munchhaussen Syndrome

In this section we will discuss three common disorders that deal with health and psychology. Somatic symptoms, conversion disorder and Munchausen syndrome

It's that time again...your second (and final!) test

Congratulations!!! You did it!!!

Final thoughts