Group Medical Visits are led by physicians and are covered by MSP.  These programs are an important part of your treatment plan!

A note about patient privacy during Group Medical Visits

  • Because the medical visit is in a group setting, the privacy of a one-to-one medical visit cannot be completely maintained.
  • Normal privacy and confidentiality protocols apply outside the confines of the session
  • Participants must respect the privacy of their fellow group members and agree not to discuss the nature of other group members’ medical conditions or concerns with anyone not taking part in the visit

NOTE:  We also offer additional private pay group programs in our CHANGEpain Together Program, which are delivered by highly skilled teachers who are not physicians. 

Starting to CHANGEpain

This session is an essential part of your treatment plan at CHANGEpain.

Pain is in the brain, and most pain patients need more than traditional medical treatments to manage (or preferably resolve!) their pain.

Pain science has proven that people best resolve their pain through using a layered approach, and we have adopted this approach at CHANGEpain.

In this session, we explain:

  • How pain works in your body and why it may be persisting.
  • Our techniques and programs and why we offer them.
  • And what you can work on while you are waiting for your consultation with your pain specialist. 

This session is meant to answer questions you might have about persistent pain, your treatment options at CHANGEpain, and show you a path to how you either resolve your pain, or confidently self-manage your chronic condition.

This session is mandatory for all CHANGEpain patients before their initial consultation appointment.  The reason this session is mandatory is because science shows that patients who understand how pain works in their bodies have better results in resolving their pain.

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Preparing for iSITES (Ultrasound Guided Injections)

This 50 minute session is mandatory for every patient referred to the iSITES Ultrasound Guided Procedures program. The iSITES physician will explain how to prepare for these procedures and the risks involved in your specific procedures.

Following this session, you will book your series of ultrasound guided procedures.

Condition Specific Group Medical Visits

In a Condition Specific sessions, patients have an opportunity to discuss their stories with a physician and with others who live with the same condition. Facilitators explain what we know about the condition and its symptoms, and outline gold-standard self-management tools and strategies. Participants in the group are able to ask questions about their condition, set goals, and have help with choosing a care plan that will work for them. Topics covered will include: the science of the condition, and how exercise, relaxation, stress, nutrition, and sleep can affect the symptoms. 

We offer the following Condition Specific sessions:

  • Fibromyalgia (4 weeks)
  • Widespread pain (4 weeks)
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (4 weeks)
  • Low Back Pain (4 weeks)
  • Whiplash (4 weeks)
  • Headache (4 weeks)
  • Neuropathic Pain (4 weeks)

Changing Your View on Pain

Led by Dr. Michael Butterfield MD FRCPC ( Psychiatry) 

Many people living with persistent pain get stuck thinking about the “rules” for chronic pain:

  • Pain is bad.
  • Pain should be fixed.
  • Pain is preventing me from doing what I want to do.

Sometimes this leads to problems -  a focus on these rules can become a barrier to people in pain moving forward with their lives.

During each session, individuals will learn to be mindful/present, clarify their values and goals, challenge their own thoughts, learn skills to cope with chronic pain and clarify a commitment to leading a meaningful and positive life.

The sessions with use combination of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approaches. The topics that will be covered include:

  1. Introduction to both ACT and CBT models and clarifying your values
  2. Developing values-based goals and creating a realistic plan to achieve those goals
  3. Identifying and challenging unhelpful thought patterns regarding pain
  4. Learning and practicing different mindfulness strategies and techniques
  5. Develop and carry out a plan to increase your level of physical activity

Participants in this group are expected to take an active role in this group and must be committed to attending all the sessions in the course. You must complete an interview, either in-person or via telephone, with the group facilitator prior to the start of this group.

Note: Due to limited availability, this program is only available to patients specifically referred by their CHANGEpain physician. 

Pacing for Daily Living                                         

Length: 3 sessions                                                      

What will I learn in this program?

  • Pacing is considered to be a key pillar of effective pain management. This program will teach you how to work with this essential skill.
  • Chronic pain impacts every aspect of our lives, and it often makes it difficult to carry out everyday activities. This program will teach you the powerful tool of pacing and help you get your life back while managing your pain.
  • You will be taught how to plan and modify your activities so that you can more successfully engage in activities of daily living.
  • Through pacing techniques and goal setting, you will learn to minimize pain and maximize productivity.

What might make me a good candidate for this program? 

  • You over-do things and then pay for it later
  • You're stuck in a cycle of flare-ups
  • You have difficulty knowing how to modify activities to minimize your pain

How can I take it?

This program is available at CHANGEpain as a Group Medical Visit or online (for a fee) through our CHANGEpain Together Group Self-Management programs.  (MSP only covers group programs when delivered in person).

Navigating your Pain Plan

If you have questions about your pain plan, or wish to speak with your pain specialist, we encourage you to join one of our Navigating your Pain Plan group sessions. Patients can expect to receive care, education and advice within a supportive group setting.

We see the majority of our patients in a group visit for their follow up appointments, as there is very limited availability for individual follow up appointments.

Wondering why we offer these programs? Watch this!