Healthy Living with Chronic Pain

Michelle Comeau

Hi!  I'm Michelle Comeau and I'm a Healthy Living with Chronic Pain (HLCP) support staff at the Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging. 


If you're interested in becoming a HLCP program Leader, bringing a HLCP workshop to your community, or just have questions about the program, please email me at 

You're not alone. But it might feel that way. 
Healthy Living with Chronic Pain can help.

Each person with chronic pain is unique. There is no one treatment or approach that is right for everybody. There are a few things you can do to feel better. These things will not eliminate pain, but they will help you to better manage pain, and help you to become more active and more involved in life. With knowledge and experimentation, you are the best judge of which tools and techniques are best for you. The responsibility for managing your chronic pain day-to-day rests with you, not anybody else. Many people can be of help to you — your family and friends, your health care team. But, in the end, the responsibility for self-management is yours.

6 weeks. 15 hours. A lifetime of new opportunities.

Science has shown that the mind and the body are interconnected in the experience of pain. Our mind has an important influence over our body. Our emotions, feelings and thoughts directly influence our pain and how it affects us. Join the Healthy Living with Chronic Pain (HLCP) workshop to explore ways to better manage your chronic pain. Take the time to make the changes you want to make.  You'll build your "toolbox", practice new concepts, and share your experience with others. You'll set your own goals and priorities. Week by week, you'll see what works for you and take steps toward healthier living.

Healthy Living with Chronic Pain (HLCP) is a high-level evidence-based program for people who have on-going, persistent pain.  Developed at Stanford University, the HLCP workshop meet for 2-1/2 hours once a week for six consecutive weeks. This community-based program is very interactive, where mutual support and success build participants’ confidence in their ability to manage their pain and maintain active and fulfilling lives.  It is facilitated by two trained leaders in a small group setting, and most of the learning comes from sharing and helping others in the workshop with similar challenges.

Who should take it?
Workshops are best for anyone who:

  • Is 18 or older
  • Has, or lives with someone, who has chronic pain
This program does not replace existing treatments, but serves to complement a participant’s current medical treatment plan. This program is not meant for a person who has pain medication addiction issues. 

Each week, workshop Leaders will guide the group through 3-5 different topics. Listen, share, practice, and explore various ways to successfully reach your goals. Click here to see the weekly topics.
Topics discussed:
  • What is pain?
  • Short-term goal setting
  • Using your mind to manage symptoms: relaxation & breathing
  • Healthy eating and nutrition 
  • Pacing and planning
  • Evaluating Treatments & Decision Making
  • Partnering with health care team
  • Fitness for exercise and fun!
  • Feedback and problem-solving
  • Medication usage
  • Getting quality sleep
  • Fatigue management
  • Dealing with difficult emotions 
  • Stress and depression management
  • Communicating effectively with friends, family, and medical team
  • And more!
Proven Outcomes.  People who have taken the workshop experience:
    • Better health and increased confidence in managing their pain
    • Less pain and dependence on others
    • Improved mental health
    • Improved energy 
    • Decreased pain
    • More involvement in daily activities
    • Better ability to understand pain and use coping skills
    • Improved quality of life!

For more information:

Program Implementation 

Take a workshop - coming in 2019

Becoming a Leader