Compassion: the Foundation for Pain Care

Compassionate pain care is more than just extending kindness towards people in pain. It involves gaining a more in-depth understanding and insight into the needs of the people we serve and ourselves and choosing responses that serve each of us, within the context of the situation.

As healthcare providers, it is assumed we will provide ongoing compassionate care. However, research shows the capacity for compassion can vary and depend on many factors. There may be challenges that may influence or inhibit our ability to offer compassion and for people in pain to receive it. Fortunately, growing research suggests compassion can be trained.

We will summarize the literature surrounding effects of compassion and self-compassion in pain care for both the patient and healthcare provider, including enhanced patient outcomes and prevention of professional burnout.

 We will learn and experience how yoga offers a valuable and accessible framework from which to enhance and support compassion. Numerous practices will be experienced and demonstrated how they can be integrated into models of compassion and self-compassion and provide a worthy contribution to a whole-person approach in pain care.

These practices and activities are accessible and pragmatic and can be immediately integrated into your professional practice and daily routine at home to help cultivate compassion/self-compassion, prevent practitioner burnout, and empower patients to positively influence their pain and overall health.

Shelly Prosko headshot

Instructor: Shelly Prosko

Feb. 16 & 17, 2020

Available seats: 39/40

The Dana on Mission Bay, San Diego


*First 5 signups get $50 off, regular price is $550


This intermediate workshop consists of lecture and demonstration.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define and describe models of compassion and self-compassion.
  • Describe how compassion/self-compassion can be used to enhance quality of care and mitigate burnout in the clinical setting.
  • Summarize current research surrounding benefits of compassion and self-compassion in pain care as a foundation for overall health and wellness for health providers and people in pain.
  • Outline challenges and barriers we face that influence or inhibit our ability to offer compassionate care to people in pain.
  • Outline challenges and barriers of one’s capacity to receive compassion.
  • Explore beliefs surrounding self-compassion and compassion as soft skills and outline research challenging popular myths.
  • Summarize models of burnout including individual and organizational risk factors, warning signs, stages and characteristics.
  • Demonstrate and practice a variety of accessible practices and activities to prime for and enhance compassion/self-compassion that can be immediately integrated into clinical practice or your own life to help prevent practitioner burnout and empower people in pain to positively influence their pain experience and overall health.

Detailed workshop schedule TBA

About the instructor:

Shelly Prosko, PT, C-IAYT is a physiotherapist, yoga therapist and educator with over 20 years of experience integrating yoga into physiotherapy and specializes in areas of pain care and professional burnout. She teaches in physiotherapy and yoga programs, contributes to academic research, presents at conferences globally, provides mentorship for professionals, and offers onsite and online courses for yoga and health professionals. Shelly is a pioneer of PhysioYoga, a Pain Care U Trainer, and is co-editor/author of the textbook Yoga and Science in Pain Care: Treating the Person in Pain. She maintains a clinical practice in Sylvan Lake, Canada. Visit