The Comfort Ability

The Comfort Ability is a one-day program to help children and adolescents (ages 10 to 17) and their parents or caregivers learn how to better manage pediatric chronic pain problems such as headache, stomach pain, nerve pain and muscle pain. It is directed by Rachael Coakley, PhD, and run by staff psychologists from the Pain Treatment Center at Boston Children's Hospital.


Our approach

This hands-on workshop introduces cognitive behavioral therapy skills such as relaxation, mindfulness and thought restructuring to improve emotional and physical function. The goal is to provide patients with a solid understanding of how psychological skills can improve pain and pain-related stress, ensure that patients learn introductory evidence-based skills for managing pain and provide social and emotional support. Parents and caregivers in The Comfort Ability program learn about adaptive management of chronic pediatric pain, skills for responding to their child's pain, strategies for supporting their child at home and school and how to set up a structured plan for supporting their child's overall recovery.

Who is eligible for The Comfort Ability?

Children and adolescents ages 10 to 17 and up to two of their caregivers can attend The Comfort Ability program. You do not have to be a current patient at Boston Children's Hospital to participate. The cost for the program is $120, which includes the child's or adolescent's participation and up to two caregivers. Financial assistance is available on a limited basis. Please indicate on your pre-registration form if you would like to request financial assistance.

How do I register for The Comfort Ability?

To begin the registration process and reserve your spot in an upcoming Comfort Ability workshop, please fill out our pre-registration form. After submitting this form, a member of our staff will contact you to complete registration. Please note that submitting this form does not guarantee enrollment in the workshop.

Pediatric chronic pain

As a parent, Rachael Coakley understands first-hand the fear of dealing with a sick child. As a pediatric pain psychologist, she helps families deal with chronic pain in new ways.

Read her story

Teenager in chronic pain