Virtual Group Therapy Practice, Ontario, Canada

Virtual Group Therapy Practice

Helping people of all ages cope with chronic pain or illness.

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Virtual Group

Therapy Practice

Helping people of all ages cope with chronic pain or illness.

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Chronic Pain

Having chronic pain can affect every aspect of your life, including: your ability to work, parent, do household chores or engage in your favourite hobbies. It can impact your relationships, self-esteem and mood. Sometimes even your preferred coping strategies, such as smoking or simply pushing through the pain, can make your pain worse. Many people with chronic pain feel like their lives have turned upside down. Many say: “I don’t feel like ME anymore.” Managing chronic pain often requires a full “toolbox” of: (1) medical treatments; (2) therapy; (3) lifestyle changes;  (4) coping skills. It takes time and effort. It can be hard. However, it is possible to learn new ways to cope with your pain and to improve your quality of life. 

Our Clients

Having chronic pain can feel very isolating, but you are not alone.  An estimated one in five Canadians lives with chronic pain, and many factors contribute to your risk of developing chronic pain (your age, gender, occupation, ethnicity etc.)

We value equity, inclusion and diversity including all body sizes, abilities, age, race, ethnicity, genders, sexual orientation, religious/spiritual beliefs, and political values.

old couple walking through the woods
Virtual Therapy video call, Ontario, Canada

Our Practice

We are health care professionals with expertise in helping people understand and manage their chronic pain conditions.  Our goal is to help people minimize their pain symptoms, cope with the emotional impact of living with a chronic illness and achieve the best possible quality of life.  
 
We use a number of tools and strategies to help people reach that goal, including: education; lifestyle changes; coping skills; and therapy.  We empower clients through virtual workshops, treatment planning, and intensive treatment groups for chronic pain and depression.
Virtual Therapy video call, Ontario, Canada
Step 1:
If you are a new client, click on the link below to register as a client and provide consent for treatment.  This allows us to send a secure link for your video sessions.  You only need to do this once.   
 
If you have any questions, please email info@strength-in-numbers-ontario.ca    We will be happy to help.  Please add our email to your contacts to ensure our replies don’t go to your spam folder!

Step 2:
Once you are registered, return to our website, and click on the booking calendar link to:
 
1.  Select the service you are intereted in.
2.  View details & upcoming workshop dates (info button).
3.  Find session dates (in bold print) in the monthly calendar.
4.  Reserve a spot.

Benefits Of Virtual Group Therapy

We believe in the power of group therapy.  It provides support, encouragement and motivation as you navigate life’s challenges.  While talking to strangers about personal and distressing issues may feel awkward at first, our participants quickly realize that working with others towards a shared goal is empowering — and watching others’ progress inspires them when they feel stuck. It is gratifying to see how quickly groups bond. Time after time, we have witnessed individuals who were uncertain about group therapy express great satisfaction with the process, and even sadness when the experience ends.  What’s more, the cost is significantly lower, from $50-75 per 90-minute group session compared to up-to $225 per 50-minute individual session. 
 

We specialize in virtual workshops and treatment groups, which you can access from the comfort of your own home.  Clients can log on with a computer, a tablet or a cell phone – from anywhere in Ontario.  The videoconferencing technology is easy to master, even with no tech experience.  Virtual group therapy is convenient, effective and enjoyable.  Our clients agree.   Hundreds of clients have completed our workshops and therapy groups, and their feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.  Research shows that virtual group therapy can be as effective as in-person therapy.

Virtual Workshops

The Chronic Pain "Toolbox"

90 Minutes

$100

Are you struggling to manage your pain, and to participate in your usual daily activities? Are you feeling overwhelmed? Has living with chronic pain triggered frequent bouts of frustration, anger, anxiety or depression? You are not alone. This session will help you to understand your chronic pain symptoms, and your pain triggers. It will help you to avoid common coping strategies that make pain worse, and will introduce you to new and effective pain management strategies.  We will provide education, support, coping skills, treatment recommendations, and self-help resources.  Need some individual help with treatment planning?   Additional individual support is available if required (individual session rates apply).  Next session:  April 4, 2024; 4-5:30 pm.

2

Fibromyalgia Workshop

90 Minutes

$100

Have you been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia? Are you confused by odd and unpredictable pain symptoms? Have you been told that Fibromyalgia “isn’t a real condition”? or maybe that your pain “is all in your head”? This session will help you to understand FMS symptoms and triggers. We will review FMS research and treatment guidelines, and debunk FMS myths and stigma. This workshop is for individuals who have already attended “The Chronic pain Toolbox”, and are looking for education about their FMS diagnosis.

3

My Doctor Says I Need to Pace Myself: But How?

90 Minutes

$100

Have you been pushing through the pain to do your daily tasks? Is this getting harder to do over time? Are you experiencing frequent severe pain flare-ups? We call this an “overexertion and crash” pattern of activity, and it is a common pain trigger. This workshop will help you find new ways to do the activities that are important to you, with less pain. We will provide education, self-assessment tools, group problem-solving, coping skills, treatment recommendations, and self-help resources.

4

Posture and Body Mechanics for Everyday Activities

90 Minutes

$100

How you position your body during activity can influence pain and fatigue.  This workshop will provide an overview of proper posture and specific, practical body mechanics strategies for performing daily tasks.  From brushing your teeth to preparing meals to gardening, this workshop will touch on the activities that you need and want to do more comfortably.  We will provide education, video demonstration, group problem-solving, treatment recommendations and resources.

5

Gardening with Less Pain

90 Minutes

$100

Gardening can be a source of joy and pleasure but when you have persistent pain, enjoyment can be overshadowed by pain flareups and frustration. Join our SIN Occupational Therapist on April 24th from 4:30-6:00 pm EST for a virtual workshop to explore new ways of approaching gardening tasks by applying pacing skills, body mechanics and posture strategies and the use of assistive devices to help you get back into the garden with less pain.

Group Therapy

Pain Management Group

10 weeks (90 minute sessions); $100 per session

Having a solid understanding of chronic pain, and effective pain management strategies is an important first step.  However, managing chronic pain requires lifestyle changes and new coping skills, and change is difficult.    Are you struggling to make these changes on your own?  Our intensive Pain Management Group helps you to master new skills each week – identifying symptom patterns and pain triggers, relaxation and stress management skills, minimizing emotional distress, modifying and pacing painful activities, preventing and coping with pain flare-ups etc.  We help you to set goals, monitor your progress & stay on track.  It is hard work, but research shows that cognitive behavioural pain management groups like ours are often more effective than pain medication.  Additional individual support is available if required (individual session rates apply).  Next start date: April 16, 2024;  4-5:30 pm.

2

Depression Treatment Group

10 weeks (90 minute sessions); $100 per session

Living with chronic pain is physically, mentally and emotionally draining.  Many people with chronic pain begin to struggle with emotional distress – frustration, anger, anxiety and depressed mood.  The risk of developing depression is high.  Are you feeling low or depressed several days per week?  Are you struggling to boost your mood?  Do things that usually make you happy leave you feeling “Meh?”.  Do you feel numb?  Are you someone who coped with stress or emotional distress by staying busy?  This group  talks about the relationship between chronic pain and depression, and focuses on practical coping strategies to improve your mood and cope with emotional distress without making your pain worse.  Group sessions include weekly surveys to help you set goals, monitor your progress & stay on track.  Additional individual support is available as needed (individual session rates apply).

3

Monthly “Staying on Track” Group Therapy Sessions

90 Minute session; $100 per session

· small group sessions

Managing chronic pain requires us to make lifestyle changes and master new coping skills. Staying “on track” can be very difficult.  Are you struggling to maintain your pain management strategies?  Is it difficult to pace yourself and manage your pain at work?  In social situations?  On vacation?  While doing something you love (e.g. gardening, golfing, hobbies)?  Does emotional distress (e.g. frustration, depression, anger) derail your coping efforts?   A monthly “check-in”, with group support & problem-solving can make a big difference.  Each month, your challenges and treatment needs guide the topic of the month.  These monthly sessions are a more afforable way to benefit from the pain management knowledge, therapy, skills, and resources we provide.

 

Individual Therapy

Mental Health

50 minutes

· Individual assessment & treatment planning prior to our intensive Pain Management Group or Depression Treatment Group.

· Individual support during treatment, or post-treatment individual follow-up.

· Individual therapy for chronic pain, chronic illness, depression, anxiety, stress management, relationship stress / conflict, insomnia, weight loss, etc.

· Treatment modalities: CBT

o Dr. Marilyn Hill, Clinical Psychologist ($250)

o Cynthia Herr, Clinical Social Worker, BA, MSW, RSW ($150)

2

Occupational Therapy

50 minutes

· Individual assessment & treatment planning prior to our intensive Pain Management Group

· Optional individual support during group treatment, or post-treatment individual follow-up.

o Gillian Fish, BSc(OT), OT Reg. (Ont)   ($150)

Meet The Team

Dr. Marilyn Hill

Virtual Group Therapy Practice, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Marilyn Hill

Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology), University of British Columbia

College of Psychologists of Ontario #3267

Ontario Psychological Association

I am a health psychologist with 25 years of work experience in hospital pain clinics helping people learn to live and thrive with chronic pain and/or illness. I am an experienced and skilled group therapist, with a relaxed, down-to-earth and engaging style. Therapy is hard work, but it can also be enjoyable.

There are lots of rewarding moments in my work. I like watching someone take an active role in their health care by working to add new tools and treatments to their Chronic Pain Toolbox. I enjoy seeing someone master a new coping strategy –it’s even more rewarding if they were skeptical about a coping skill, and mastering it turned out to be life changing! I love watching someone gain confidence that they can cope with the pain, and find joy and laughter again.

What’s more, my colleagues are THE BEST. They are kind, caring, experts who go above and beyond for their patients. I hope that you enjoy working with them as much as I do. Welcome to Strength in Numbers!

Cynthia Herr

Virtual Group Therapy Practice, Online therapy, Ontario, Canada

Cynthia Herr

MSW, Wilfred Laurier University

RSW, Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers # 803653

Ontario Association of Social Workers # 11140

Virtual Group Therapy Practice, Online therapy, Ontario, Canada

I am a registered social worker with over 25 years’ experience working with, and learning from, people (just like you!) who are struggling with chronic physical and mental health issues. I love working with people on an individual basis, but there truly is something “magical” about groups. 

When people with similar struggles join together – amazing things can happen. In facilitating groups, I have had the pleasure of watching individuals learn from each other, grow together, and co-create meaningful change in their lives.

Reaching out for help may seem intimidating – but it doesn’t have to be. I bring compassion and humour to my work with clients, helping individuals become more active participants in their health care. My colleagues and I are experts in chronic pain, but you are the expert in you. Let’s work together to help you regain those parts of your life you may have thought you lost, and to rebuild a life that is full of personal meaning and purpose!

Gillian Fish

Virtual Group Therapy Practice, Ontario, Canada

Gillian Fish

BSc(OT), OT Reg(Ont)

University of Toronto

College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario #G205003

Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists

As an OT with over 25 years of experience, I have had the opportunity to work with many people from all walks of life and from diverse backgrounds. The one thing they all have in common is that chronic pain has changed how they are able to participate in the daily activities that bring meaning and a sense of purpose to their life. 

What I have learned is this: chronic pain doesn’t have to control your life.

My aim, as your OT, is to understand who and what is most important to you and to provide you with the tools you need to overcome the barriers that chronic pain can create while, at the same time, helping you construct new ways to engage with life. Let’s get started on building that tool box together!

Step 1:
If you are a new client, click on the link below to Self Register with Strength in Numbers.  You will only need to do this once.  This is required in order for us to send you a secure videoconferencing link for your sessions. 
Step 2:
Once you are registered, return to our website, and click on the booking calendar link below to see avilable sessions and reserve a spot using our simple online booking system.

Practical Details

Documentation / Reports

· Workshops: generic session note available, if required for insurance purposes.

· Therapy Groups: brief progress notes available, if required for insurance purposes.

· Any additional documentation required by clients or 3rd party payors will be charged for completion, at the hourly individual services rate.

Virtual Group Therapy Practice, Ontario, Canada, help to cope with pain and loss

Scheduling

· Daytime, late afternoon / early evening hours. Some weekend workshops.

· Minimum numbers of participants are required to run workshops and therapy groups.

· Workshops: Self-referral. Register for upcoming workshops here

Virtual Group Therapy Practice, Ontario, Canada

Payment

· Payment by credit card; credit card details required upon registration. Payments processed & receipts provided following each session.

· Cancellations with more than 24 hrs notice can be rescheduled to a later date without penalty.

· Cancellations with less than 24 hrs notice will not be refunded.

· Clients are responsible for submitting receipts for 3rd party funding, if eligible (WSIB, insurance companies, EAP). Please confirm that services are covered by your benefit programs before scheduling treatment.

· Fees for Psychology, Social Work and Occupational Therapy services can claimed as a medical expense tax credit for income tax purposes.

Why group therapy is better to help cope with pain and loss

Photos by Peyton