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Rachel V Aaron, M.A., Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Rachel V Aaron, M.A., Ph.D.
  • Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


Adjustment to Chronic Illness, Chronic Disease Management, Chronic Pain, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Cognitive Rehabilitation, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Rehabilitation Psychology more

Research Interests

Development and maintenance of chronic pain; Psychosocial interventions for chronic pain; Co-occuring mental and physical health symptoms; The role of emotional factors in pain and illness more


The Johns Hopkins Hospital

600 N. Wolfe Street
Meyer Building 1-163
Baltimore, MD 21287 map

Johns Hopkins Medicine - Green Spring Station

Appointment Phone: 443-997-5476
10803 Falls Road
Pavilion III, Suite 2100
Lutherville, MD 21093 map


Rachel Aaron, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who specializes in rehabilitation psychology. She treats patients with acute and chronic pain, illness and injury in inpatient and outpatient settings. Dr. Aaron is committed to serving these patients through dedicated clinical care and research. She researches psychosocial factors that contribute to the experience of chronic pain, and is particularly interested in the role of emotional factors in the development and maintenance of chronic pain. She applies this research to develop novel approaches to improve treatment outcomes in individuals living with chronic pain.

Dr. Aaron trained in rehabilitation psychology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, where she received the John E. Carr Award for Outstanding Achievement in Empirically-Supported Psychotherapies. She went on to complete a two-year chronic pain fellowship at the university. Both her fellowship and Ph.D. research training were supported by two prestigious training grants from the National Institutes of Health. She is the recipient of other numerous research awards and grants. more


  • Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Departments / Divisions



  • University of Washington School of Medicine / Psychology (2018)

Board Certifications

  • Pending/Scheduled / Psychologist

Additional Training

  • Vanderbilt University / Clinical Psychology Ph.D. (2016)
  • University of Washington / Behavioral Medicine and Neuropsychology Internship (2016)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Aaron researches biopsychosocial factors related to the development and maintenance of chronic pain, and is particularly interested in the role of emotional factors (e.g., emotion regulation, emotion awareness). She also investigates methods of improving pain-related outcomes in individuals with chronic pain.

Selected Publications

Aaron RV, Snodgress MA, Blain SD, Park S. Affect labeling and other aspects of emotional experiences in relation to alexithymia following standardized emotion inductions. Psychiatry Res. 2018 Apr;262:115-123. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2018.02.014. Epub 2018 Feb 5. PMID: 29428774

Rabbitts JA, Aaron RV, Fisher E, Lang EA, Bridgwater C, Tai GG, Palermo TM. Long-Term Pain and Recovery After Major Pediatric Surgery: A Qualitative Study With Teens, Parents, and Perioperative Care Providers. J Pain. 2017 Jul;18(7):778-786. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2017.02.423. Epub 2017 Feb 21. PMID: 2823214

Aaron RV, Benning SD. Postauricular reflexes elicited by soft acoustic clicks and loud noise probes: Reliability, prepulse facilitation, and sensitivity to picture contents. Psychophysiology. 2016 Dec;53(12):1900-1908. doi: 10.1111/psyp.12757. Epub 2016 Sep 6. PMID: 27596354

Law EF, Wan Tham S, Aaron RV, Dudeney J, Palermo TM. Hybrid Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Intervention for Adolescents With Co-Occurring Migraine and Insomnia: A Single-Arm Pilot Trial. Headache. 2018 Jul;58(7):1060-1073. doi: 10.1111/head.13355. PMID: 30152164

Aaron, R., Noel, M., Dudeney, J., Wilson, A., Holley, A., & Palermo, T. (2019). The role of sleep quality on the relationship between posttraumatic stress symptoms and pain in women. Journal of behavioral medicine, 1-10.

Aaron, R. V., Fisher, E. A., de la Vega, R., Lumley, M. A., & Palermo, T. M. (2019). Alexithymia in individuals with chronic pain and its relation to pain intensity, physical interference, depression, and anxiety: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Pain, 160(5), 994-1006.

Activities & Honors


  • Young Investigator Travel Award, American Pain Society, 2017 - 2018
  • Judy Su Endowed Research Travel Award, University of Washington Medical Center, 2017 - 2017
  • John E. Carr Award for Outstanding Achievement in Empirically-Supported Psychotherapies, University of Washington Medical Center, 2016 - 2016


  • Member, American Pain Psychology
  • Member, International Association for the Study of Pain
  • Member, Rehabilitation Psychology
  • Member, Society for Affective Science

Professional Activities

  • Member, Social Media Committee, Society for Affective Science, 2018

Patient Ratings & Comments

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to physician related questions on the national CG-CAHPS Medical Practice patient experience survey through Press Ganey. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score. Comments are also gathered from our CG-CAHPS Medical Practice Survey through Press Ganey and displayed in their entirety. Patients are de-identified for confidentiality and patient privacy.

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