Short courses I offer

Acceptance and pain – an introduction to the psychological management of chronic pain and ill health

This course provides an overview of an acceptance-based approach to pain management for psychological therapists and others. The particular focus of this one day course is on helping therapists to cultivate an attitude of willingness in themselves in order that they are more able to embody this in the therapeutic space with their patients. The course involves the extensive use of roleplay and personal reflection as well as a theoretical overview of acceptance and commitment therapy.

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Physiotherapy – working with chronic pain 

People in pain often adopt unworkable strategies for staying safe that meet short-term needs but which do not bring them closer to their values – who and what matters to them – in the longer term. The result is often greater pain sensitivity, heightened anxiety, worsening mood, increased isolation and social withdrawal, the loss of role, loss of hope and a life stretched between the boom and bust of over-exertion and collapse. This two day course will help physiotherapists and anyone else working with complex pain patients to address aversive and fear-avoidant behaviours in a way that is both supportive and compassionate whilst promoting lasting change. 

The course is sensitive to the realities of time allowed in busy clinics, of the frequency of sessions and to physiotherapists’ skills base as physical therapists.


 1) ACT: an overview

2) Aversive and appetitive behaviours

3) ACT and physiotherapy: supporting flexibility

4) Eliciting patients’ ‘pain stories’

5) Overcoming patients’ unworkable strategies (and being honest about our own)

6) The role of metaphor: using language creatively

7) ‘Bargaining’ and other trapdoors 

8) ‘What to do when..’

                        – patients just want to keep telling you what’s wrong

                        – patients just want to keep telling you you’re wrong

9) Change through compassion

10) Review and close

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