PPA Webinar: Managing Pain - Skilful Conversations and Interactions

Online Webinar by Clair Jacobs & Leila Heelas

Pain Management: Conversations and Interactions

This Open Access Webinar by Clair Jacobs and Leila Heelas on behalf of the PPA.

The aim of the webinar is to promote the understanding of pain and the challenges of managing patients with multiple comorbidities and often complex long term conditions.


  • Understand more about the complexities of people who present with pain and the challenges we face day to day as clinicians
  • Share knowledge about current concepts in pain management and be introduced to the principles of different treatment approaches
  • Explore skills and reflections to take away into clinical practice

Do you find managing patients with complex pain and distress challenging?

In consultations, do you experience :

  • A sense of unsureness or discomfort?
  • Frustration or even anger?
  • A sense of hopelessness?

The types of thoughts that might have gone through your mind are:

  • I don't know why they're not responding.
  • I've tried everything and nothing works.
  • This patient won't take any responsibility on themselves.
  • I have a heart sink feeling every time I see their name on my clinic list.
  • What can I as an individual and a practitioner with my set of skills do for this patient at this point in time.

We will cover:

  • A bit of what you might want to address with almost all patients (behaviour change and reassurance)
  • A bit about patients with emotional difficulties
  • A bit about communication and skills that can aid our practice
  • Valued based action
  • Self-care

You will gain:

  • Knowledge about peoople who present with complex conditions and often heightened emotional stress
  • Pain management skills applicable in all areas of clinical practice
  • A curiosity regarding challenging conversations and interactions with this engaging client group
  • Practical application
  • Pain management is very practical - Clair and Leila are both clinicians specialising in this field
  • Pain managment skills such as value based goals, managing distress and expectation - all very applicable in all areas of clinical practice as a physiotherapist


Clair Jacobs MSC MCSP, Education Officer PPA

Clair Jacobs is the Lead Physiotherapist at INPUT Pain Management Centre, Guys and Thomas’ NHS Trust. She specialises in the delivery, teaching and management of complex chronic pain conditions; helping patients increase function and manage the impact of the pain using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT/CBT) approach.

Working within pain management for over 20 years, Clair has run Pain management workshops focusing on psychologically informed practice ‘Using psychology in my everyday clinical practice’, 'The Open Aware and Engaged Therapist - Exposure - A Practical approach’ and Pain Seminars including to the British Pain Society and Hong Kong Pain Society.

Clair has a clinical and managerial role specialising in multidisciplinary group-based pain management programmes, combined pain management and intervention programmes and individual work. Clair has published papers on topics including; ‘Applying the Psychological flexibility model for physiotherapy training’ and ‘Utility of physical performance measures in PMP’s’.

Clair is interested in training and development in this field and in exploring practical applications of movement to enhance well-being. She has worked overseas promoting pain management and is interesting in conversations and narrative therapy approaches, MI and coaching.

Leila Heelas – Executive Committee Member PPA

Leila is the Clinical Lead Physiotherapist in the multidisciplinary Optimise Pain Rehabilitation Unit (Oxford University Hospitals NHS FT).  The service offers an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy based PMP, a physiotherapist-led pain rehabilitation programme using psychologically-informed physiotherapy and has just started a Compassion-Focused group for persistent pain.  She has a personal interest in working with CRPS, hypermobility and offering treatment to people who may have psychological barriers to group work.

Leila has an MSc in Pain Management and holds a Graduate Diploma in Psychology. Leila’s publications include Introducing Acceptance and commitment Therapy into a Physiotherapy-led pain rehabilitation programme and The Role of Combined Physical and Psychological Rehabilitation in reducing disability in Chronic Low Back Pain.

Leila has presented and submitted posters to conferences and is an honorary lecturer at Brookes University.  She regularly attends conferences related to pain, has received training in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy as part of an Oxford University trial and has undertaken training delivered by psychologists in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Motivational interviewing and CBT for pain.

Webinar available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7127BsoQ1k&t=11s