The Role of Emotions in Mind-body Health: Vancouver Film Screening & Professional Training (*participants must be healthcare professionals registered with a licensed body)

Recent/Oct 2021 CBC Radio Interview regarding this research:

Globe and Mail Dec 2018:


PAST EVENT:   Trauma-Informed Practice Training:  “The Role of Emotions in Mind-Body Health – Maximizing Therapeutic Effectiveness”  – with Dr. Angela Cooper, Centre for Emotions and Health, Faculty of Medicine: Dalhousie University  

PAST EVENT August 12, 2017: Training will be held at the UBC’s Centre for Brain Health. 

The evening prior (August 11th) to the training:  DOCUMENTARY FILM SCREENING and Q & A   (open to the general public)

 All the Rage documentary screening – followed by an audience Q & A, with Dr. Angela Cooper, Dr. Heather Fay, and Trish Walsh    

Dr Sarno

Time:  7:00pm – 9:30pm

Venue:  Centre for Peace , 1825 W. 16th Avenue Vancouver, BC, V6J 2M3




August 12, 2017:

 Professional Workshop –  “The Role of Emotions in Mind Body Health and the treatment of ‘Medically Unexplained Symptoms”  (Certificate)

Venue:  University of British Columbia  – Djavid Mohafagian Centre for Brain Health

Time:  9:30am – 4:00pm

To register:

**This workshop is designed for healthcare professionals registered with a licensed body, only Also, due to the confidential nature of material delivered in this session, a Professional Confidentiality Waiver must be signed.  If you have any questions please contact Trish Walsh.

Background: As a follow up to her presentation in November 2016 at the National Family Medicine Conference, Dr. Angela Cooper is returning to Vancouver to collaborate with members of the public and the health community as we explore together the role of unresolved trauma and emotional factors in mind-body health.  These sessions will be of particular interest to health care professionals, including mental health therapists, physicians, nurses, and any mind-body practitioners.

The psychological and emotional factors involved in health and wellbeing are becoming increasingly important to understand.  What enables or inhibits emotional health are key questions for us, and our health services, to consider.  Research now demonstrates the intimate connection between “ACES” (adverse childhood experiences), how the brain processes strong emotions, and the effect on the body’s immune, nervous, and hormonal systems.  When emotions automatically trigger the fight/flight/freeze response in the body, persistent physical and emotional symptoms (such as headache, fatigue, chronic pain, gastrointestinal disturbance, anxiety and depression) can result.  Traditional medical investigations are often unable to detect the causes of these symptoms – hence the name, Medically Unexplained Symptoms (MUS) – and great cost is expended when psychological and emotional processes are overlooked.

Dr. Cooper, a Psychologist and Assistant Professor at the Centre for Emotions and Health (Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia), will provide an overview of her research in assessing and effectively treating these conditions using an evidence-based psychotherapy approach known as Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP).  She will provide an overview of this treatment and methods to enhance clinicians’ therapeutic effectiveness with this complex population.

 Workshop Details:

Morning session:

Overview of Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy in Treating Medically Unexplained Symptoms:

Dr Cooper will provide an overview of her research project at Dalhousie University specifically outlining the underlying theory, assessment, treatment and evaluation process that she is piloting across two family medicine centres in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  As part of this session, we will be reviewing videotaped clinical examples of how this therapy works to learn what interventions are most effective. This workshop will help build your skills in:

  • Recognizing the physical symptoms of anxiety in your client/patient, where they are discharged and treatment approaches to regulate this anxiety
  • Recognising the behavioural patterns that block the client/patient’s ability to regulate, experience and express their emotions
  • Learning about the concept of ‘response to intervention’ and how this guides the treatment process
  • Observing and practicing interventions designed to overcome treatment blocks

Afternoon session: “Maximizing Therapeutic Effectiveness”:

As a therapist or healthcare worker have you ever felt like you are working too hard with a client/patient and getting nowhere?  Contemporary research is revealing that instead of focusing on ‘what’ therapy model we use, we need to be more attentive to ‘who’ uses the model. The afternoon session will focus on the therapist/health care worker and aims to help you develop a deeper awareness of your own emotional blocks in order to maximise your effectiveness with patients/clients. This session will be experiential and participatory in nature where attendees will have the opportunity to be guided through their own personal process as well as learning about:

  • What channel of anxiety your body uses
  • What behavioural patterns might block your ability to be effective
  • What feelings you may be avoiding with your patients/clients
  • Whether your emotional patterns might parallel your patient/clients’ difficulties and what this tells you about their emotional struggles.

The session is not designed to ‘fix’ anyone’s emotional blocks, but to build awareness and offer exercises designed to develop greater emotional tolerance through deliberate practice; an emerging new field within psychotherapy.  The greater your own emotional insight and tolerance, the more effective you can become. It is hoped that this session will empower you to go deeper and further with your patients and/or clients.

Meet the Presenter – Dr Angela Cooper

Dr. Cooper is a Clinical Psychologist and ISTDP therapist, originally from the UK.  Her collaboration between the Centre for Emotions and Health, and Dalhousie’s Department of Family Medicine enhanced her burgeoning interest in the assessment and treatment of patients with medically unexplained symptoms. Dr. Cooper’s three-year pilot project aims to highlight the potential clinical and cost benefits of providing brief talking therapies for MUS in a primary care setting.  In addition, she is incredibly passionate about developing and enhancing the emotional capacities of healthcare professionals. By building clinician’s emotional resilience, she hopes to reduce stress, burnout and medical errors, and improve the relationship between patient and healthcare provider.

Fees and Registration

Venue:  University of British Columbia: Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, 2215 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC BC V6T  (Rudy North Theatre)


  • $120 (including GST)  – Early Bird rate on or before August 1, 2017  ($135 after August 1)

To register:

Thank-you to all those who attended this workshop! The feedback has been extremely positive –  attendees included a range of health care providers including: psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors, family physicians, physio therapists and physical therapists.  YES we may have a follow-up workshop in 2018  – check back here for dates.

Dec 8, 2018 Globe and Mail article on ISTDP/Centre for Emotions and Health,

Attached are the first few introductory slides from the workshop (13 of 84)  Vancouver emotions in health August 2017 First few slides  – and a few photos:

workshop pic bhc 11

bhc best bhc 8