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Living well with chronic pain: a practical theory for clinicans

This was presented by Dr. Bronwyn Thompson on Tuesday 18 August 2015, via webcast from Christchurch.

Information for:

  • Anyone working with people experiencing pain, especially pain that is likely to persist
  • Occupational therapists keen to learn how occupation is used to generate motivation for change
  • Those interested in how people retain their sense of self despite adversity
  • Clinicians who find it difficult to motivate clients with chronic pain

The theory of living well with chronic pain explains the process of re-occupying self and offers practical suggestions for clinicians to implement now.

About Dr. Bronwyn Thompson

Bronwyn Lennox Thompson initially trained as an occupational therapist, graduating from CIT in 1984.  She later completed her MSc in Psychology in 1999 at Canterbury University, and in 2015 was awarded her PhD from the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. She has worked in pain management for most of her clinical career, with her primary focus on pain management at work.  She has practiced in interdisciplinary pain management programmes, private practice, case management both for private organizations, and ACC, primary prevention and secondary prevention, and since 2002, teaching postgraduate papers in pain and pain management at Otago University. Her main interest areas include pain and anxiety, motivation for self-management, resilience and daily coping choices.   The effect of her occupational therapy training has never fully left Bronwyn’s aims in pain management.  Occupational therapy has always targeted function, or the ability to fulfil life roles despite limitations.  In the same way, Bronwyn’s goals for pain management are to help people reduce the functional impact of pain and improve their engagement in living life to the full.

There’s a group of people living with chronic pain that we clinicians rarely encounter: people who have resolved their main concern about pain and who go about their daily lives without distress or disability. I think we can learn a great deal about resilience from this group, and in this talk I will present a theory of living well derived from interviews with people who have chronic pain.

Dr. Bronwyn Thompson


Download Powerpoint presentation