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Dr. Aliza Weinrib

Dr. Aliza Weinrib, Ph.D., (2011; University of Iowa) is a registered clinical psychologist and research associate in the Human Pain Mechanisms Lab. Her research is grounded in her clinical work at Toronto General Hospital.

At Toronto General Hospital, Dr. Weinrib has served as the lead clinical psychologist for the Transitional Pain Service (TPS), a path-breaking interdisciplinary pain service for complex post-surgical pain, since its inception in 2014.  In addition, since 2018, she has been the lead psychologist for the GoodHope Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Clinic, the only clinic in Canada that specializes in the treatment of this rare and complex disorder of the connective tissue.

Dr. Weinrib’s research portfolio includes designing and testing brief behavioral interventions for people living with pain and chronic illness.  Her treatment modalities include mindfulness and acceptance based approaches, with a focus on acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).  In order to support and develop the community of ACT practitioners in Ontario, she served on the board of the Ontario Chapter of the international acceptance and commitment therapy association (ACBS) from 2012 to 2020, culminating in a two year term as board chair.

Dr. Weinrib is interested in mind-body interventions, particularly clinical hypnosis, for improving health and wellness. Her clinical hypnosis research program includes a randomized controlled trial of clinical hypnosis for acute pain relief after surgery that is underway at Toronto General Hospital.

Dr. Weinrib has expertise in behavioral and mind-body treatments that reduce opioid use while providing comfort and relief for people living with acute and chronic pain. As co-chair of the Canadian Psychological Association’s Opioid Task Force, she contributed to the task force’s position paper on addressing the opioid crisis in Canada, which can be found here.

More about the Transitional Pain Service


Toronto Star

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

Selected Publications

Dindo, L., Weinrib, A., & Marchman, J. (2020). One-day ACT workshops for participants with chronic health problems and associated emotional disorders. In Levin, M.E., Twhohig, M.P. & Kraft, J. (Eds), Innovations in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Clinical advancements and applications in ACT. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

Katz, J., Weinrib, A. Z., & Clarke, H. (2019). Chronic postsurgical pain: From risk factor identification to multidisciplinary management at the Toronto General Hospital Transitional Pain Service. Canadian Journal of Pain3(2), 49-58.

Clarke, H., Bao, J., Weinrib, A., Dubin, R. E., & Kahan, M. (2019). Canada’s hidden opioid crisis: the health care system’s inability to manage high-dose opioid patients: Fallout from the 2017 Canadian opioid guidelines. Canadian Family Physician65(9), 612-614.

Dindo, L. N., Recober, A., Calarge, C. A., Zimmerman, B. M., Weinrib, A., Marchman, J. N., & Turvey, C. (2019). One-day acceptance and commitment therapy compared to support for depressed migraine patients: A randomized clinical trial. Neurotherapeutics, 1-11.

Weinrib, A.Z., Azam, M.A., Birne, K., Burns, L.C., Clarke, H., & Katz, J. (2017) The psychology of persisting post-surgical pain: Frontiers in risk factor identification, prevention, and management. British Journal of Pain, DOI: 10.1177/23049463717720636.

Azam, M. A., Weinrib, A. Montbriand, J., Burns, L. C., Clarke, H., & Katz, J. (2017). Acceptance and commitment therapy to manage pain and opioid use after major surgery: Preliminary outcomes from the Toronto General Hospital Transitional Pain Service. Canadian Journal of Pain, 1(1), 37-49.

Weinrib, A., Burns, L., Mu, A., Azam, M.A., Ladak, S.S.J., McRae, K., Katznelson, R., Azargive, S., Tran, C., Katz, J. & Clarke, H. (2017). A case report on the treatment of complex chronic pain and opioid dependence by a multidisciplinary transitional pain service using the ACT Matrix and buprenorphine/naloxone. Journal of Pain Research(10), 747-755.

Katz, J., Weinrib, A., Fashler, S., et al. (2015). The Toronto General Hospital Transitional Pain Service: Development and implementation of a multidisciplinary program to prevent chronic postsurgical pain. Journal of Pain Research (8), 695-702.

Selected Presentations

Weinrib, A. (2019, September). The Transitional Pain Service for post-surgical pain: Lessons learned from Toronto General Hospital. Keynote address to the 29th Annual National Acute Pain Symposium, Manchester, UK.

Weinrib, A. (2018, September). Perioperative psychological interventions.  Paper presented in symposium entitled “New concepts to improve postoperative pain outcome” at the Acute Pain Special Interest Group (SIG) Conference, International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), Boston, MA.

Weinrib, A. (2018, September). Psychological approaches to reducing opioid use for people with pain. Health Canada/Government of Canada Symposium on the Opioid Crisis, Toronto, ON.

Weinrib, A. & Birnie, K. (2018, July). Acceptance and commitment therapy for complex post-surgical pain: Theory, application, and clinical outcome data. Paper presented in symposium entitled Brief ACT matrix interventions for medical inpatients: Addressing suffering and promoting workability at the 16th Annual World Conference of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, Montreal, QC.

Weinrib, A. (2017, November). Avoiding opioids: Using psychological strategies to reduce opioid use in acute and chronic pain management. 70th annual meeting of the Ontario Psychological Association, Toronto, ON.

Weinrib, A. (2015, May). Psychological intervention in the Transitional Pain Service. Paper presented in symposium entitled A novel, multidisciplinary, transitional pain service designed to manage severe, acute postsurgical pain and preventing the transition to chronicity at the 36th meeting of the Canadian Pain Society, Charlottetown, PEI.

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Updated on March 5th, 2020.