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Level 3: Biopsychosocial Reframed: Live-Online – November 2024

Level 3: Biopsychosocial Reframed: Live-Online – November 2024

Carolyn Vandyken
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This course is designed to be attended live during the specific dates and times listed. By attending live, you’ll be able to harness the benefits of live discussions, timely feedback, and a collaborative environment.

Course Description:

Do you get frustrated with your persistent pain patients who don’t respond to your biomechanical approach? Transitioning to a biopsychosocial framework has been a challenge for many clinicians despite the competency of our biomechanical training. When patients have a sensitive nervous system, measuring psychosocial distress as objectively as we measure range of motion, muscle strength, proprioception and joint mobility is important when profiling their sensitive nervous system.

This course will teach you how to reframe your persistent pain patients by treating the “whole person” using a psychologically informed framework.

The use of distress questionnaires (SAD CLLIFSS) and skills training for the psychosocial components is lacking in many physiotherapy-based training programs.

This course teaches you how to use distress questionnaires to assess the drivers of central sensitization. Clinicians need to do better than simply prescribe yoga and meditation to their patients with a sensitive nervous system. Explore the strong evidence behind matching evidence-informed treatment techniques such as pain education, yoga, qi gong, meditation, sensory-motor retraining, expressive writing exercises and cardiovascular exercise to each patient’s “driver” of their sensitive nervous system in order to improve patient outcomes. Barrier-breaking strategies of integrating psychologically informed practices into our treatment approach for persistent pain is a key competency of the modern, evidence-informed clinician.

Upon completion of this course, participants will learn:

  • To move beyond “talking” about a biopsychosocial model of care to truly incorporating this model into your practice.
  • To define central sensitization and how to measure the characteristics of central sensitization in your clinical practice.
  • To understand a clinical framework for treating persistent pain that expands on your current biomechanical skills (from new grad to seasoned clinician).
  • How to assess various drivers of a sensitized nervous system and to “match” evidence-informed psychosocial skills to these drivers.
  • Novel movement exercises including six qi gong routines for the upper body, lower body, breathing and pelvic organs to help to address sensory-motor changes as well as generalized tension.

This is a lecture-format and lab-based course. Included in the cost of the course are handouts and resources for each of the techniques learned. The audiovisual resources presented during this course for meditation, progressive relaxation exercises and qi gong will be made available as free downloads but can also be purchased through Embodia Academy for easier patient prescription.

      Audience: This course is open to all healthcare professionals.

      Prerequisites: None – although the course title does include 'Level 3' in it, this course can be taken as a stand-alone course.

      Registration Form

      Level 3 November 2024


      Date/Time: November 3, 10, 17 & 24, 2024, from 6:00pm-9:00pm ET (Toronto). Please convert to your local time zone.

      Delivery Format

      This course is designed to be attended live during the specific dates and times listed. By attending live, you’ll be able to harness the benefits of live discussions, timely feedback, and a collaborative environment.


      Carolyn Vandyken, BHSc (PT), Registered Physiotherapist

      Carolyn graduated from McMaster University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy and has practiced in a wide variety of clinical settings, focusing primarily on orthopedics. She has been a McKenzie credentialed physiotherapist since 1999 and has been a member of the Canadian College of Medical Acupuncture since 2002.  She received a certificate in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Healthcare Professionals from Wilfred Laurier University in 2016. Her clinical focus changed to Pelvic Health and Incontinence in 2001.

      Carolyn was the co-founder of Pelvic Health Solutions, a Canadian-based post-graduate teaching company. She sold her interest in this company in 2019.

      Carolyn is the co-owner of Reframe Rehab, a teaching company engaged in breaking down the barriers internationally between pelvic health, low back pain and pain science. 

      Carolyn presents extensively internationally on pelvic health, low back pain and central pain mechanisms.  She has published several framework articles on integrating central pain mechanisms into clinical practice, a pain education book, and several chapters in textbooks on pelvic pain and central sensitization.  She is actively involved in research with Dr. Sinead Dufour at McMaster University, as well as Dr. Judith Thompson at Curtin University.  She has published multiple studies on the connection between low back pain and pelvic floor dysfunction as well as co-created a screening questionnaire for sensory-motor dysregulation in perineal pain.

      Carolyn won the prestigious Woman of Distinction award from the YWCA in 2004 for her work in pelvic floor rehabilitation. Carolyn won the distinguished Education Award from the Ontario Physiotherapy Association in 2015.  Carolyn was recently awarded the Medal of Distinction from the Canadian Physiotherapy Association in 2021 for her work in pelvic health and pain science.

      She co-owns her practice in Muskoka, Physio Works Muskoka along with her daughter, Brittany Vandyken.