What is The Comfort Ability Program?
The Comfort Ability Program helps kids, teens and parents or caregivers learn how to better manage chronic pain problems such as headache, abdominal pain, nerve pain, joint pain, disease related pain, post-surgical pain, or any other kind of ongoing pain. The program teaches how pain works in the body and why skills rooted in psychology can help. It also gives kids and parents the chance to learn and practice many proven coping skills based in cognitive behavioral therapy.
The Comfort Ability Program offers workshops, health chats, newsletters, and other resources for teens and parents. The workshops take place at many sites throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia.
What is The Comfort Ability Workshop?
The Comfort Ability workshop is a clinical intervention developed Dr. Rachael Coakley at Boston Children's Hospital. In the workshop, kids and their parents learn strategies to better manage pain and improve how they feel about what they can do each day. The workshop teaches many proven coping skills based in cognitive behavioral therapy.
How does The Comfort Ability Workshop work?
The Comfort Ability workshop is a group intervention that can be done as a one-day workshop or as several virtual telehealth sessions. The program is run by a healthcare professional who has been trained to run the program at a licensed Comfort Ability Program site. There are separate parts of the program for kids and parents. It’s important that parents and kids both do this program to get the best results.
What happens at The Comfort Ability Workshop?
Kids and parents are in separate groups for the workshop.
The workshop for kids and teens provides a safe and comfortable space to connect with others who can really understand what it’s like to have ongoing pain. Together, they learn about pain science, learn about psychology tools to control the pain, and use mind-body skills to boost comfort. Kids also explore how to manage pain-related stress like isolation from friends, school problems, lack of sleep, missing out on activities, and how to cope with feeling anxious or sad. At the end of the workshop, kids develop their own Comfort Ability plan to guide their coping and long-term recovery.
Parent / Caregiver group:
The parent and caregiver workshop focuses on parenting skills that help to boost a child’s sense of comfort and well-being. Parents learn about pain science and about cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), as well. Parents explore new ways to respond to their child’s pain, focus on how to improve day-to-day activities at home and school, and create a specific plan that will help to boost comfort for their child. Parents also have time to connect with other parents in supportive ways.
Who can attend the Comfort Ability Workshop?
The Comfort Ability workshop is for kids and teens ages 10-17 who have ongoing pain and their parents or caregivers. If a child has more than one parent/caregiver, it is recommended that all attend this workshop. The workshop has been shown to help with chronic pain problems such as headache, abdominal pain, nerve pain, joint pain, disease related pain, post-surgical pain, or any other kind of ongoing pain.
How do I attend the Comfort Ability Workshop?
Click here to find out where you can access the workshop. The Comfort Ability Program is growing quickly, so if you can't find a workshop near you, it's always a good idea to check back. Review our list of current sites regularly to see if there is a new workshop running near you. You can also call the closest site to you (or email email@example.com) to ask about virtual telehealth workshops.
Other resources from the Comfort Ability Program
The Comfort Ability Program website is filled with free resources that are known to help kids with pain and their parents even if it’s not possible for you to attend the workshop.Online Health Chats:
Every month the Comfort Ability Program runs an online text chat for either parents or kids. You have to register, but the chats are free. They are moderated by a pain psychologist and include a peer or parent mentor. It’s a great way to get support, ask questions, and continue learning about pain management. Find out when the next chats are happening and sign up here!Ask an Expert/Ask a Peer:
If you have questions about the program or general questions about coping with chronic pain, submit them here and a pain management expert on the Comfort Ability Program team will reply. Also, if you have general questions for other kids with chronic pain or parents, you can submit them here and a member of our Peer or Parent Advisory Board will reply. Of course, experts and peers can’t provide specific clinical advice about you or your child but can provide support and share resources about coping skills. For clinical advice, you’ll need to talk to your/your child’s treatment team.If you have Sickle Cell Disease:
There is a separate Comfort Ability Program just for kids and teens with sickle cell pain. Learn more about the Comfort Ability Program for Sickle Cell Pain here or please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Comfort Ability Program is on a mission to connect families with helpful science-backed resources of all kinds. In our newsletter we share new information about new apps, websites, books and programs that can help to support kids with pain. Sign up to stay connected!