This page shares some of my recent speaking engagements (2018, 2019) and training sessions. If you’re interested in having me come speak or provide training at your conference or in your community, please email me at

The nonprofit organization I cofounded also provides experiential learning workshops and retreats for people living with pain and training workshops and educational sessions for clinicians. Please check out the Endless Possibilities Initiative for more.

IASP World Congress on Pain, Boston MA

In September 2018 I presented a 3-hour workshop on Pain Science and Patient Empowerment at the 17th IASP World Congress on Pain in Boston. It was an incredible opportunity to share my story and have meaningful discussions with the clinicians, researchers, patients, and caregivers in attendance on how best to move forward in pain research and care.

I also had the great fortune to present on the Innovation Lab stage following researchers Fran Toye, Karen Barker, and Kate Seers. My 10-minute story followed the findings of their Mega-Ethnography on the lived experience of pain. It was incredibly cool to see share my story alongside their research.

On the Innovation Lab Stage with my buddy Pete Moore at the IASP World Congress

For more check out IASP’s Patient Engagement Initiatives

2018 was the Global Year for Excellence in Pain Education and I am a member of IASP and the Pain Education special interest group, so it was pretty amazing to be at the World Congress on Pain to represent the patient voice and discuss the importance of patients, clinicians and scientists coming together to change the way we talk about, research, and treat pain.

The next World Congress is in Amsterdam in 2020. Hope to see you there!

San Diego Pain Summit, California

Where it all started for me! I’ve been to all of the San Diego Pain Summits, and in February 2018 I sat on stage as part of it on the Living with Pain panel. I was honored to sit alongside two amazing humans, Erin Jackson and Mark Renard (Mark will be MC at next year’s SD Pain!) to hear their stories and learn from their experiences and insights.

The panel was moderated by a favorite human of mine, too, the wonderful Alison Sim. Alison has a new book that I am grateful to be included in: Pain Heroes: Stories of Hope and Recovery

In addition to being a panelist in 2018, I was also a patient demo for Peter O’Sullivan, pain researcher and physical therapist, in 2017 (I wrote up that experience here). I will also be co-presenting on the patient perspective with my friend Keith Meldrum at the 2020 SDPS. Looking forward to it!

Paincloud Convention, Oslo Norway

A few weeks later I presented on The Patient Perspective at the Paincloud Convention in Oslo Norway to an international audience of clinicians from all over Europe and the world.

This was the most important presentation of my life, and the hardest yet to give. It received a standing ovation, for which I was deeply grateful. It showed me how clinicians want and value the patient perspective. They want to learn from us and work with us to find better ways forward.

I was also honored to share the stage with pain researcher Tasha Stanton to answer questions from the audience and to join clinical researcher and psychologist Silje Endresen Reme at the end of the conference for a round of group discussions with the clinicians in attendance.

Oregon Pain Summit

In January 2019 I provided a keynote address for the Oregon Pain Summit and facilitated a panel of three amazing humans with lived experience of pain and recovery. This was one of my favorite conferences to be a part of, with a truly local, interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary approach.

The lineup of speakers included family medicine physicians, surgeons, a nurse, a psychologist, physical therapists, and people with lived experience of pain. It was incredible! This was their inaugural conference and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for them.

My dear friend Sharna Prasad has done amazing work in Oregon to bring pain science to the masses!

Reforming Practice by #The3Rs, Manchester, UK

In October 2018 I headed to the UK for the Reforming MSK Practice conference in Manchester. I was the keynote speaker on Patient Engagement: The Patient’s Take on the Current State of Pain Care, as well as a panelist along with my buddy Pete Moore of Pain Toolkit fame and fellow former firefighter Adrian McGregor, who both live with ongoing pain.

The second day I was on the Maximizing Your Sciatica Outcomes panel with Annina Schmid, associate professor at Oxford Neuroscience who researches entrapment neuropathies, and Ash James, clinical lead at IPRS Health and PhD student in occupational low back pain and resilience.

This is a conference that is less didactic and more focused on meaningful discussions between speakers, panelists, and audience members. The intention is to reform physiotherapy practice and the treatment of pain. It was pretty awesome.

There’s many exciting things to come from the #TheBigRs, follow their hashtag on social media if you want to learn more.

Speaking in Oslo, Norway at Paincloud

Montana Pain Conference, Missoula

In April 2018 I was invited to speak and lead breakout sessions at the Montana Pain Conference to represent the patient perspective. I co-presented with my friend, pain physician Dr. Chris Caldwell, kicking off the conference with Teaching Pain Science into the Patient Narrative. 

I also led breakout sessions each day on the patient perspective and building on the theme from Chris’ talk on teaching pain science into the patient narrative. I spoke about why and how pain science is valuable in pain treatment and how pain science can inform empowered paths forward for people living with pain (and the clinicians who treat them).

It was a truly interdisciplinary audience of MDs, DOs, PharmDs, PsyDs, nurses, physical therapists, movement professionals, behavioral health counselors, and other allied health pros.

Tree of Healing Behavioral Health Conference, Spokane WA

I was incredibly honored to be asked to deliver a keynote presentation at this conference hosted by the Kalispel Tribe of Indians. My talk was titled ‘Making Sense of Pain Through Science and Stories.’ It was the first time I tried to bring together all of the elements I think are crucial for improving our understanding of pain and discovering better possible paths forward in pain care.

Those elements are: listening to, hearing, and validating the lived experience of pain; making sense of our experiences through science AND stories; co-creating new narratives that make biological AND biographical sense for the person living with pain; and creating safety to foster healing, growth, and connection.

Person-Centered Pain Care Workshop for Occupational Therapists, Denver

In January I also provided a keynote address to kick of a person-centered pain care workshop put on by CU Boulder and UC Health. It was an incredible opportunity to be a part of another wonderful conference that truly has the people living with pain at it’s heart.

My dear friend Linda Crawford made this talk, and being an honorary OT for the weekend, possible. This workshop gave me such hope for the future of pain care! And it was pretty awesome to see how my path forward aligned with what is being taught to Occupational Therapists. Really cool stuff!

CME Lectures, Steamboat Springs CO

In July 2018 I provided a 2 CME lecture for clinicians on pain science and patient empowerment titled Why Do I Hurt. The lecture was held at UC Health/YVMC in Steamboat Springs and was made possible by a collaboration with the Rx Task Force and the Yampa Valley Medical Park Pain Management Clinics.

What’s really cool is that it was open to the public, too! I feel it is so important to break down our silos. To get clinicians, researchers, and the community together to have important discussions about pain and what to do about it.

I also presented at the ‘Prescribing for Pain Today‘ event in May 2019. This event was sponsored by the Rx Task Force and the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, of which I am a member.

Collaborations with Modern Pain Care

I’m also a frequent collaborator with DPT Mark Kargela and Modern Pain Care. From being a part of patient panels for DPT students to Skyping into continuing education courses that Mark is teaching around the country to sharing my story with the Modern Pain Care mentorship members, I’ve been honored to provide the patient perspective to many clinicians and clinicians-to-be.

Modern Pain Care

Mark and I bring the patient perspective to clinicians through his Modern Paincast, too. When I join Mark on the podcast we typically sit down to chat with people who are living with or have lived with pain. It is an opportunity to learn from the insights and experiences of real people who’ve lived with real pain.

We also chat with clinicians from time to time. Our last chat together was with Peter O’Sullivan, where we explored his approach to pain care through the lens of my patient demo experience with him at the San Diego Pain Summit.

And there’s more!

Those are the big ones, but there is always smaller scale workshops and talks going on, too. I’m looking forward to all that’s on the horizon, too, with some more 2019 gigs shaping up, including the Tree of Healing behavioral health conference in Washington state and the Complete Patient Experience conference in Arizona where I will be delivering keynote address.

And of course I’ll be at the 2019 San Diego Pain Summit! This is one of my favorite weekends of the year, a family reunion of sorts with some of my favorite pain peeps (clinicians and lived experiencers!)

There will be another patient panel this year with my dear friends and amazing humans Kira, Bronnie, and Keith, moderated again by the incomparable Alison Sim.

If you are interesting in exploring hosting or collaborating on a workshop or presentation, please email me at or via the MyCuppaJo contact form.