About Us

We are two occupational therapists with a professional and personal interest in life with pain. We met in the Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy program at the University of Alberta, and bonded over an 8-week practicum in a brain injury rehabilitation program. We both graduated with a BScOT in 2007. Since then, Colleen has worked in Home Care, where she helps clients maintain independence in the home. Ashley has worked in Long Term Care, focusing on quality of life.

We have both had our personal lives drastically altered by chronic pain. One of us has experienced pain personally following a car accident. The other has experienced it through the eyes of a spouse, as her husband has fibromyalgia. Looking at our own experiences with chronic pain through an occupational therapy lens has helped us each make sense of pain and the impact it has on daily life. We understand the importance of addressing the physical, cognitive, and emotional components of any medical condition, as these can be barriers to fully participating in daily activities or “occupations” (including self-care, productivity, and leisure). We appreciate the impact that a person’s physical, social, and cultural environment has on their ability to engage in occupations.  Most importantly, we value having a sense of identity, meaning, and purpose, and we recognize how this can be impacted by chronic pain 1.

Our experiences and professional backgrounds have led us to seek all the knowledge we can find about how to manage pain, reduce suffering, and reduce disability. In short, our focus is on how to reclaim life after it has been changed by pain. We are writing this blog as a way to reach out to health care professionals and the general public, especially people who are experiencing pain. We hope that you will enjoy learning with us, as we explore various topics related to life with pain.

Footnote: 1. These concepts are based on the Canadian Model of Occupational Performance.