MEDICAL EXERCISE THERAPY (MET) Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy (CRT)

Dates 9-10 February 2019
Max participants 24
Location CDH Hotel Villa Ducale Viale Europa 81 - Angolo Via del Popolo - Parma, Italy
Certificate / Credits Yes / Yes (50 ECM)
Type of course Theoretical & Practical
Course features
Research & Evidence Based
Theoretical foundation
Hands-on/practical sessions
2 days of high quality learning content
Course in English with translation in Italian
Medical Doctors, Physical Therapists, medicine & physiotherapy students and professionals equivalent to PT’s can register for this course
Holten Institute Director (SWE)
Over the last 25 years Tom Arild Torstensen has been teaching MET courses in Europe, North America and...

Course content

The prestigious Holten Institute® MET - MEDICAL EXERCISE THERAPY Certification.

The updated full MET training pathway has been revisited, constantly considering the most recent available evidencies coming from scientific research, including a lot of practical sessions.

The new MET modular training schedule is composed by 4 courses for a total of 8 training days:

  • MEDICAL EXERCISE THERAPY (MET) Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy (CRT) - 2 days/1 weekend (February 9th-10th 2019 - module 1)
  • MEDICAL EXERCISE THERAPY (MET) Treating Neck, Shoulder Girdle, Elbow & Wrist Pain / Dysfunction of Upper Extremity - 2 days/1 weekend (May 25th-26th 2019 - module 2)
  • MEDICAL EXERCISE THERAPY (MET) Treating Thoracic & Low Back Pain and Sciatica - 2 days/1 weekend (September 28th-29th 2019 - module 3)
  • MEDICAL EXERCISE THERAPY (MET) Treating Sacroiliac Dysfunction and Hip, Knee & Ankle Pain / Dysfunction of Lower Extremity - 2 days/1 weekend (February 1st-2nd 2020 - module 4)

The CRT initial module is mandatory, since it's preparatory to the following 3 modules, therefore to the completion of the full MET training.

Course program
  • 9:00 AM-10:30 AM

    We do not have pain receptors we have…. We do not have pain impulses, we have... The use of drawn pictures, storyboards, posters and metaphors to understand the basic principles of PAIN physiology and psychology. Introduction to the poster: PHYSIOLOGY OF PAIN.

  • 10:30 AM-11:00 AM


  • 11:00 AM-1:00 PM

    A tissue structure can never cause pain. Why there is low or not correlation between changes in tissue structures, function and PAIN. Local and central sensitization. Sensitization like allodynia and hyperalgesia.

  • 1:00 PM-2:00 PM


  • 2:00 PM-3:30 PM

    How can communication with your patient either increase or decrease the patient´s PAIN experience.

  • 3:30 PM-4:00 PM


  • 4:00 PM-6:00 PM

    The psychology of PAIN; how thoughts and feelings create different physiological reactions (changes) causing long term pain, sensitization and decreased function. Introduction to the poster: PSYCHOLOGY OF PAIN.

  • 8:00 AM-9:30 AM

    What are the pain modulating systems. Examples from the use of tactile massage (stroking techniques), acupuncture, TNS, manual therapy and heavy loading exercises.

  • 9:30 AM-10:00 AM


  • 10:00 AM-12:00 AM

    Exercise for the modulation of pain. Why exercises for the lower extremity can be effective treating f.ex shoulder pain. Introduction to the poster: EXERCISE FOR THE MODULATION OF PAIN

  • 12:00 AM-1:00 PM


  • 1:00 PM-2:30 PM

    Mindfulness, meditation, observing you breathing, body scanning and exercise therapy. Do they all have a common biological basis for modulating symptoms?

  • 2:30 PM-3:00 PM


  • 3:00 PM-4:00 PM

    Psychology and physiology of pain, observing your breathing and the use of exercise for the modulation of pain. An example of a patient who after two surgeries and painful exercise rehabilitation ended up with long term shoulder pain, local sensitization as a Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CPRS).

Communication about pain (CRT)

Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy – Communicating about pain.

Communication about pain is communication about feelings. However, it is a big challenge for the therapist to explain this to patient, and especially for the tissue/structure oriented patient, easily feeling stigmatized. ”What! Are you telling me that the pain I am experiencing is in my head? No, my pain is in my muscle, my tendon, my ligament, my intervertebral disc, etc. I am not a psycho!”

Using pictures and text with a humorous tone is a new way to avoid the problem of patients feeling stigmatized. When the patient recognizes him/herself in the pictures the patient often start to talk about what the picture means to him/her. Now the therapist can guide and add information in relation to what the patient is telling. Guiding insted of explaining, is a biopsychosocial way of incerasing the patients knowledge about the patients pain.

Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy (CRT) is founded in and based on explanatory models of pain psychology and pain physiology combined with physical activity to modulate pain. These explanatory models are adapted and applied practically through exposure and graded exercise terapy that is integrated in Medical Exercise Therapy (MET).

The aim of CRT is to increase a patient’s knowledge and allow them to gain better control of their symptoms. CRT is a form of exposure therapy where the main goal is to decrease fear, decreasing different psychological reactions to pain. Furthermore, CRT aims to improve a patient’s functional level and increase confidence in their own abilities.

Why CRT and not CBT (Cognitive behavioral therapy)? CBT is a clearly defined and evidenced based method for certain behavioral conditions that is generally applied by a psychologist. To avoid confusion, I call the method presented Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy which incorporates certain components of CBT like exposure.

Most agree on this: Our treatment methods relieve pain. However, the treatment technique is not the most important key to pain relief. Research has shown and taught us something interesting. Paradoxically, merely increasing ones knowledge about pain reduces pain. Thoughts and feelings can increase or decrease nociceptive input to and in the central nervous system. Simply put, the patient’s own thoughts and feelings can either increase or decrease pain. Importantly, it is the patients understanding and own explanations together in communication with the therapist that are very important factors in treatment – possibly the most important. Communication relieves pain.

We have no pain receptors, only nociceptors.

The health and medical world is in the midst of a big challenge. The normal and pre-existing understanding for what pain is must change. We must take on a new model of pain and communicate this to our patients. That an acute tissue injury like spraining the ankle, causes pain is no big surprise for anyone. However, it is more difficult to understand why it continues to hurt 8-12 weeks later, when the swelling has subsided and all the tissues (ligaments, tendons) in the ankle have theoretically healed. Now the pain experience do not sit primarily in the tissues, but rather is a result of changes in the nervous system. More related to different feelings, or more specifically an experience, that is first processed and further produced by different areas of the brain.

Under x-ray, MR -, and ultrasound scanning we can see various soft tissues. When we see a change or degeneration in one or more tissues we might be quick to think that here is the reason for the pain. This is erroneous. The continuum between seeing tissue changes on x-ray, MR-, and ultrasound scanning pain and function is very long and there often exists no connection. The reason for this is that we don’t have any pain receptors. This knowledge has existed over more than 40 years. Instead, the body has high tolerance nociceptors for sensing mechanical load, heat, cold and chemical reactions, that might be dangerous for us. Unfortunately, over a long time we have wrongly associated nerve impulses from nociceptors as pain signals.

A tissue injury or a sprained ankle for example, reduces the firing threshold for various nociceptors. They send nerve impulses to the spinal cord and further on to various areas of the brain. If the brain interprets the situation as dangerous (or threat value for your survival) you will experience pain. Thus, pain is an OUTPUT and not an INPUT. The pain you feel is also context related. Meaning that a tissue injury to a finger feels much more painful or dangerous for a professional violin player who is dependent on fine coordinative movements of his fingers to play his instrument compared to a person that has a type of occupation where this function is not that important. This knowledge about pain gives us a great opportunity to treat pain. We get a better understanding on how it is possible to have a prolapse of an intervertebral disc in the back, knee osteoarthritis or other structural changes and still be symptom free. When you realize that pain is closely related to feelings, an interpretation, it becomes easier to understand how close psychological factors can affect discomfort and pain.

Communication is difficult

Communication is also complicated. When explaining something to your patient, the patient will forget 25 percent of what you explained straightaway. Out on the street are a further 25 percent forgotten. The last 50% the patient interpret depending on beliefs, feelings, mood and day. You want your message and concepts to be understood. It is decisive that you get the patient to “mirror” your information and concepts.

Registration fee

REGISTRATION for the full MEDICAL EXERCISE THERAPY (MET) training pathway:

  • Registration fee (early booking) € 1.695,00 + Iva - until October, 10th 2018
  • Registration fee € 1.895,00 + Iva (NFC/GSTM members € 1.795,00 + Iva) - starting from October, 11th 2018

It's already possible registering for the Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy (CRT) only:

  • Registration fee (early booking) € 439,00 + Iva - until October, 10th 2018
  • Registration fee € 479,00 + Iva - starting from October, 11th 2018

Starting from Nov, 10th 2018 it will be possible registering for the single following modules (module 2, 3, 4), if the MET training pathway won't be sold-out only.