Interdisciplinary Intensive Outpatient Program for Chronic Pain (ACT IOP) - VA Maine Healthcare System
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VA Maine Healthcare System


Interdisciplinary Intensive Outpatient Program for Chronic Pain (ACT IOP)

The VA Maine Healthcare System’s CARF accredited ACT for Pain program is designed to help veterans with chronic pain conditions improve their quality of life. In order to achieve this goal, we have come up with some different treatment options. The first step is an intake evaluation with both the ACT for Pain program psychologist and a medical pain specialist. This evaluation is designed to view you as a whole person with values and goals that we aim to achieve. Once we have assessed what is important to you, we set about finding a way to help you achieve your goals.

This may include one of the following treatment options:

Interdisciplinary Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): a 5 day program for veterans experiencing chronic pain conditions. The goal of the program is to improve quality of life for these veterans by focusing on the veteran’s relationship with pain and valued activity. The program will consist of about 16 sessions over the course of 5 full days. Lodger beds and all meals will be available to up to 8 Veterans at a time.
The IOP also offers the following opportunities to Veterans who participate:
• Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (see below for more details)
• Physical Therapy
• Occupational Therapy
• Recreation Therapy
    o Aqua therapy
    o Walking/Hiking
    o Adaptive Sports Programs
• Complementary and Alternative Therapies
    o Pilates
    o Mindfulness Meditation
    o Movement & Breath

Individual Therapy: We do offer the course individually as needed for veterans whose schedules do not allow for one of the group options, though spaces are limited.

Follow-up: We follow up with each person who completes the program. Some ways that we do this are:
• Telephone contact as needed
• Individual appointments, as needed
• Aftercare Groups

Treatment Approach: In the program, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is used to help individuals identify values and move toward them using an acceptance based approach. The goal is to identify and try out a new perspective. This new perspective attempts to change your relationship with your pain, giving you more freedom to live the life you want to live.

ACT is a scientifically-based psychotherapy that considers suffering to be directly connected to our relationship with our thoughts and feelings. When we are suffering, we try to rid ourselves of painful experiences. Sometimes this effort to eliminate the pain becomes a source of pain itself. So in ACT, we work on viewing thoughts and feelings with a different stance or attitude.
The main goals of ACT are to:
(1) help you accept what is out of your personal control,
(2) clarify what is truly important and meaningful to you, and
(3) commit to taking action that enriches your life.

Interdisciplinary Intensive Outpatient Program for Chronic Pain Brochure



Contact Info


  • Togus VA Medical Center
    Bldg 206 - Room 129
    Deidre Tukey, APRN Coordinator

Contact Number(s)

  • 207-623-8411 Ext. 5647

Hours of Operation

  • 8:00am-4:00pm