training and background
I received my Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D) degree with special proficiency in behavioral medicine from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1993. Postdoctoral training was obtained at the University of Washington Multidisciplinary Pain Center. Since 1990, I have specialized in mindfulness based cognitive behavioral treatment of chronic pain, primarily in multidisciplinary treatment programs. In 1994 I left the UW pain center to establish and direct a multidisciplinary chronic pain management program in Vancouver, B.C. In 1996 the treatment team members incorporated to found IMS Injury Management Solutions. I was staff psychologist at UBC United Back Care between 2000-2004. I have been in private practice specializing in chronic pain management since 1999, full time since 2004.
A lifelong search for meaning and spirituality led, in 1988, to a regular practice of mindfulness meditation with a group of like-minded graduate students. In addition to our weekly meditations, I also attended extended meditation retreats 9-day meditation retreats at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA and in 1997 a 10-day meditation retreat at Suan Mokkh, Thailand among other retreats.
Over the years, my treatment approach with chronic pain patients increasingly included techniques and skills I learned through mindfulness training. I have been gratified to see clinical research studies validating these treatment approaches in the emerging field of mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and mindfulness base stress reduction (MBSR). Mindfulness training now provides the foundation for my clinical work with chronic pain patients as well as people experiencing depression, grief and anxiety. I feel blessed to teach as a profession that which I find so personally fulfilling.