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Level 3: Biopsychosocial Reframed: Live-Online – January 2022

January 6, 2022
COURSE FULL! Please email info@pelvichealthsolutions.ca to be added to the wait list.
Registration Information
COURSE FULL! Please email info@pelvichealthsolutions.ca to be added to the wait list.


Carolyn Vandyken, BHSc (PT), Registered Physiotherapist, graduated from McMaster University in 1986 with a degree in Physiotherapy and has practiced in a wide variety of clinical settings, focusing primarily on orthopedics. She has been a MacKenzie credentialed physiotherapist since 1999 and has been a member of the Canadian College of Medical Acupuncture since 2002. 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.

Carolyn presents extensively internationally on pelvic health and central sensitization.  She has published numerous 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 and has published several studies on the connection between low back pain and pelvic floor dysfunction. Carolyn won the distinguished Education Award from the Ontario Physiotherapy Association in 2015.

She co-owns a clinical practice in Huntsville, PhysioWorks Muskoka along with her daughter and physiotherapist, Brittany Vandyken.

COURSE FULL! Please email info@pelvichealthsolutions.ca to be added to the wait list.

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 3A in it, this course can be taken as a stand-alone course.

Date/Time: January 6, 13, 20 & 27, 2021 from 6:00pm-9:00pm ET (Toronto)