Participant Introductions

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    Dawn HarvieDawn Harvie

    Hi all,

    I thought I’d start this thread so we could get to know one another. I believe it’s always helpful to get to know others knowledgeable about this work for the purposes of referral, community and support.

    I’m Dawn Harvie. I’m a certified coach, who became interested in this work through my own chronic pain story. I have been reading/learning about this theory of chronic pain since fall 2020, when my therapist introduced it to me via the Curable app, to help resolve my own chronic pain conditions, which were multiple. Since then, I have attended several conferences (PPDA in fall 2021, Open Center Chronic Pain Summit in winter 2022 and SIRPA in fall 2022) and taken Freedom From Chronic Pain Practitioner Training (Schubiner and Greenham) (spring 2022) and Pain Reprocessing Therapy (summer 2022). In addition, I recently completed Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy Level 1 training through the IFS Institute and have participated in Coaching for Self Leadership, the IFS Circle Program and the IFS Continuity Program.

    My chronic pain conditions have included plantar fasciitis, psoas muscle pain, sciatic pain, neck and shoulder pain, back pain, complex regional pain syndrome, panic disorder, hives/swelling, and anxiety.

    I am based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

    Olof SkogbergOlof Skogberg

    Hi all,

    Thank you so much for a good initiative! I am Olof Skogberg, MD, specialist within rehabilitation medicine, working as a physician at a Pain and rehabilitation Centre in Linköping, Sweden.

    Unfortunately I have chronic pain of my own after a car crash (92) and got interested of pain reprocessing therapy after attending a research conference in Dublin 2022 (EFIC). I have attended a 12-week curable group as a patient which has been very interesting and helpful. During the group sessions I got to meet Dr. Batson which was very helpful for me. Thank you so much! Thank you also for informing about OvidDX. I am very grateful to be able to learn more in this format.

    Im working part-time and at the moment I do not work with patients since I am focusing on research as a PhD student with a project regarding physical activity and chronic pain.

    OvidDX is an investment for myself but I am sure I will be able to use the knowledge in my work both as a researcher and a clinician in the future. At the moment however I am not able to help patients and I ask you kindly not to refer patients to me.


    It’s very nice to connect with others in this world! I am a family medicine physician in Portland Oregon. I had been curious about these ideas for years with noticing (like most other clinicians) the triad of ‘medically unexplained symptoms’, mental health diagnoses and a history of trauma. Yet sending these patients to mental health never worked. It became an intense search for me to find other answers as to how we could help patients better. Fortunately a good friend of mine from medical school said to me ‘I send my chronic pain patients to Howard Schubiner and he fixes them’. Since then, I have tried to learn everything about this that I can. I work at Kaiser Permanente and was fortunate to get a bit of clinical time in the integrative clinic there where I worked under the radar screen and just tried all of these things out. I’ve been working to try to spread the ideas throughout our system and incorporate them in a broader way. I am the lead of the long Covid specialty clinic in our region and use these techniques with long Covid patients as well.

    David SchwarzDavid Schwarz

    Hello all, I am David Schwarz. I work as a physical therapist around Grand Rapids, Michigan in the United States, but I am also licensed as a massage therapist and have an administrative background. Currently, I work in patients’ homes with older adults. I just transitioned from homecare to outpatient in the home for more freedom. I am currently working on my PhD in Physical Therapy at University of Michigan (Flint campus which is where I did my doctorate) and I am focusing my research on Functional Neurological Disorder, primarily on the motor portion for now as it is more palatable for PTs. Some of my other recent work is related to substance use disorders, ACT in PT, cancer pain, physical performance in older adults, and some other smaller stuff here and there.
    My initial interest in the pain space was from my experience of starting with weekly migraines that began at about 6ish years old which grew to joint pains and then widespread pain as an adult. Before I was a PT, I worked for 9 years in nursing (“nurse aide” in skilled nursing, assisted living, memory care, UTI research, inpatient psych). I asked my boss at the time (on a co-occurring disorders unit) about what we do to help curb recidivism related to pain. His response was, “we don’t do pain here.” So, I decided that I “do pain” and want to help them. So, I continue to work hard to help people, especially focusing on those people who are on the periphery of healthcare.


    So glad this feed got started for introductions! My name is Rachel Hollander. I am an MD and have an MPH. I practiced family medicine for 10 years and developed repetitive motion arm pain bilaterally a year into full-time practice in Santa Cruz, California. I associated it with computer use at work and went down and down on my work hours over the years, but finally couldn’t continue working at all because of it October 2021. I saw about 15 different types of practitioners since the onset of my pain. Leaving work suddenly dealt a huge blow to my identity as a doctor and I developed additional Mind-Body symptoms including PVCs and Globus sensation leading to almost a 15 pound weight loss. All testing benign. I moved to Little Rock Arkansas to help my aging parents and in September 2022, I met someone who mentioned Dr. Sarno which led me to Dr. Schubiner’s unlearn your pain website. I watched his four free 15 minute videos and my pain was gone 80% the next day. It was gone completely after three weeks. Ironically, a lot of my burn out with doctoring related to not feeling I was healing people with chronic pain and mind-Body symptoms by managing opiates and ordering endless testing, while patients returned even more frustrated and in pain. The pandemic didn’t help stress levels of course. I’ve been reading voraciously on Mind-Body topics and am contemplating how to return to a practice that engages this. However, I see that convincing patients (and practitioners!) on this paradigm is difficult as I have seen with talking to numerous friends and family about such issues. I appreciate hearing all your stories and questions during this course. Rachel


    I too think that these introductions are a great idea. Not surprising to find a common theme of a chronic pain history among course participants. That includes me. I have worked in full service family practice (and latterly as a hospitalist) for about 35 years, working on Vancouver Island in BC, Canada. Leading up to 2009, I developed unexplained profound hearing loss and MSK pain (not at once!), the latter variably diagnosed as gout, pseudogout, PMR and psoriatic arthritis. While working and since I retired about 10 years ago, I have exhausted conventional treatment. Since discovering John Sarno, Howard Schubiner and the Curable group (I attended the 12 week boot camp), I am making gains in my recovery and will continue taking the steps to cure this. I would be curious about working part time with MBS patients later. I have found the journey humbling, fascinating and compelling. This has taught me about a huge deficiency/ blind spot but also an amazing opportunity in modern medical practice.


    Thanks so much for being here with us!! We are a group of people committed to bringing relief to those who suffer, including ourselves!! 🙂
    best, Howard


    hello! I am Karin Lee Hughes MD. I trained in family medicine, and palliative/hospice medicine in Salt Lake City Utah. I practiced primarily hospice for about 20 years , primarily doing home visits/working with comprehensive symptom management/whole person care in the setting of a team. I loved the work because I could use a full spectrum of tools (not just medications). I experienced trauma in my personal life early in my career which led to postpartum depression and other complications. I have been on a journey of healing and growth. The journey has involved a lot of exploration and training in yoga, Reiki, relaxation response/meditation and psychotherapy. I started to train specifically in mindfulness based somatic therapy and post traumatic growth somatic therapy the last 4-5 years and opened my own practice on a limited basis in 2019. The last year has been a bigger transition away from hospice and solely working with clients with anxiety/depression/trauma/mind body disorders such as chronic pain. My current setting is in a behavioral health clinic with psychologists and therapists; I also teach resiliency for professional caregivers in our community. I have attempted to work with physicians in our community on resilience too but have not gotten much traction. I have experienced some neural circuit pain issues (tendinitis) in the past that have resolved with psychotherapy/health boundary setting and limiting the amount of vicarious trauma/job related stresses. I have been interested in this field for many years but only recently found the PPD/TMS group in the last year. I had done some training several years ago through the Harvard mind body group and shadowed a lovely physician who has since retired in Salt Lake City when I lived there. I currently live in Western Colorado. I’m enjoying the community and the training!


    Hello all! My name is Brindi Streufert, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist. I’ve spent the entirety of my career in primary care psychology, practicing in the Primary Care Behavioral Health (PCBH) model of embedded, consultative care to physicians and midlevel medical providers. I never wanted to touch chronic pain with a 10 foot pole (maybe I realized that CBT wasn’t particularly helpful?), but as I sought to be more helpful to my providers in how they treated their patients, I noticed chronic pain patients were particularly difficult, time-consuming, and emotionally draining for them. Around the same time I became aware of Dr. David Clarke through his presentations at our professional association (CFHA) conferences and was particularly intrigued. I discovered the PPD Association website and attended their first conference. I was particularly intrigued by journaling (specifically JournalSpeak) as a form of emotional expression and began using with my patients with good progress, then began to dive into this work. I have been certified in PRT and taken Dr. Schubiner’s Freedom From Chronic Pain and EAET classes. I got out of corporate healthcare in 2020 and began working as a therapist for an online platform. I am now in the process of starting a private practice and would like to specialize in this work (thus the request for a lit summary I can use in marketing). Along the way, I have used what I’ve learned to cure my own chronic neck and back pain stemming from a car accident when I was 17 and ankle pain stemming from another car accident in 2017 (neither of which were my fault – I’m not that bad of a driver!). I’m located in Nebraska but also licensed in the state of Tennessee.


    Thanks so much, Brindi and Karin, for being here with us and introducing yourselves!!
    It just warms my heart to have other professionals find this work and begin to figure out ways to practicing it.
    We need all the help we can get and we need to stick together!!

    We are in the process of revamping the PPDA, Psychophysiologic Disorders Association, to make it a full-fledged working professional organization that hopefully we can all belong to. We will begin to charge dues, have a fully updated roster of members, have both virtual and in-person meetings, develop special interest groups and regional chapters, etc. We will serve as a clearinghouse for trainings, workshops and lectures, and clinical programs (both online and in person).

    I am very excited about all of the developments we are seeing. Last week, Alan Gordon told me that he was listening to a podcast interview done by the Australian pain expert, Lorimer Moseley (who I quote in my book and has done a ton of great work in the area of pain and the brain). Lorimer mentioned the Boulder back pain study and PRT several times! This is a shift for him. His work has centered on pain neuroscience education. However, his recent studies have not found that this approach by itself has worked to reduce pain. So, maybe he’s moving more in our direction! 😉

    Best, Howards


    Wow, Howard, that all sounds amazing! A revamped and centralized PPDA with all of those benefits would be incredible! It would be neat to also include a referral connection service like The National Register just rolled out ( so we can easily and (hopefully) seamlessly refer cross-profession when needed! But to have one place to access all of those resources would be great. I’d happy pay to join!

    Lilia Graue, MDLilia Graue, MD

    Hi everyone! Thank you for starting this thread Dawn 🙂 It’s wonderful to get to know you all a little bit more.

    I’m Lilia Graue, physician, psychotherapist, educator and coach in Mexico City, where I’ve practiced for over 20 years in the fields of mental health, eating disorders, and medical family therapy, as well as in medical education. I currently have a private mind-body medicine practice, and offer bodymind (re)learning for wellbeing and ease coaching for people around the world in English and Spanish. Most of the people I support experience anxiety, depression, chronic primary pain / symptoms, struggles with food and body, and complex trauma. I’m also a medical advisor for The Better Mind Center in LA and offer training and mentoring for healthcare professionals.

    In 2020 I found Curable and recovered from a chronic back pain process that started with an injury, involved 3 surgeries and lasted almost 10 years. Since recovering, I’ve trained in PRT, EAET, Explain Pain (NOI), ISTDP, and Freedom from Chronic Pain, and have become a certified SSP (Safe and Sound Protocol) provider. Like Karin, I’d done some training in mindbody medicine several years ago through the Harvard group, and I am still astounded that the program didn’t include anything about nociplastic pain, specifically about the possibility of recovery. Before Curable, everything I’d found as both a patient and provider in the mindbody field was for pain management, not pain recovery, and this shift has been life changing for me.

    These days I’m geeking out on the sciences of complexity, culturally bound syndromes, different understandings for the experience of persistent pain and other symptoms, and the search for language that describes the embodied experience and emphasizes the oneness and interconnectedness of our bodymind and our ability to adapt and heal through intentional practices including mindfulness and different forms of somatic awareness.

    I live with my partner and our three cats, and love baking, making sourdough, swimming, reading, traveling, being in nature, and Sundays at the Philharmonic.


    Hi everyone – I’ve enjoyed our discussions in class and on the forum and I’m finally getting around to introducing myself here. I’m Aaron Olden, MD working out of Rochester, NY. I trained in Internal Medicine and Palliative /Care Hospice and for the first 10 or so years of my career I worked as an inpatient palliative care/hospice consultant. I really enjoyed it but I reached a state of burnout and started having physical symptoms along with anxiety and depression. I developed a lump in my throat and thought I had a terminal illness. I worked with a great therapist and although she was not trained in EAET, it is now clear to me that my physical symptoms were a manifestation of unexpressed anger and probably other emotions as well. Part of my healing process also involved acupuncture. About five years ago I made the decision to leave hospice/palliative care and I took a course in medical acupuncture. I opened my private practice of acupuncture and mind-body medicine and first heard of Howard through a course I took on mind-body therapies here in Rochester. I use acupuncture primarily as a way to get my patients to connect with their bodies in a different way and I add in emotional awareness therapy, mindfulness, breathwork, etc… as needed. I’ve enjoyed networking with others who are doing this work and look forward to continuing to learn together! If you are interested in connecting on social media I post about my work on Instagram at @mindfulmedroc .


    Finally I also want to introduce myself. Thanks for the initiave! My name is Beatrice Rathey. I am a speech and language therapist, trained in Heidelberg, Germany and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England (MSc/GB, Master of Human Communication Sciences). I worked in a University Hospital (ENT-clinic) and in logopedic practices. I spent four years living in Singapore, working at the former German School (now German European School) as a speech and language therapist, treating language development disorders in children and, in addition, teaching German to multilingual preschool children in a supporting school project. After moving back to Germany, I became head of a vocational training college for speech and language therapists. In teaching theory and praxis I specialize in adult and juvenile voice disorders, dysarthrophonia (e. g. in Parkinson’s disease or other neurological diseases), multilingualism, clinical reasoning, body work, breath work, mindfulness. Besides teaching methods etc. in theory I am also working with patients and supervise students during their therapy sessions with patients in the Logopedic School ambulance. This way I – literally – make sure to stay in touch with patient’s needs and topics.

    In almost all logopedic disorders counseling is a basic task and many patients naturally show problems with coping. Often psychological aspects cause (e. g. voice)problems or are a consequence of speech/ language/ voice loss. That’s one reason for my interest in the treatment of mind body disorders. We see ‘strange’ accompanying symptoms for which no organic/ structural reason can be found many times. Nevertheless, the patients suffer a lot and struggle without understanding what is going on with them.

    My personal story of suffering from headaches/ migraines for decades is a personal factor that immediately evoked my interest in this mind body medicine course. I started using parts of the approach during the time of the course – quite successfully. At the moment I think a lot about plans for my retirement from work at the college in about 2 years. Among other things I would love to combine counseling with a focus on mind body treatment with ‘the rest’ of my professional skills.


    Thanks so much, Beatrice.
    We are quite a varied group with different work and interests.
    Yet, we are together to explore the power of the brain!! 🙂
    Best, Howard

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