Dr. Eleanor Stein MD FRCP(C)
Updated March 2016
I am psychiatric specialist with experience in ME/CFS, FM & MCS, child and adolescent psychiatry, psychotherapy, gender issues and research.
I use an integrative approach combining conventional medical, psychiatric, psychotherapeutic and environmental medical approaches in the treatment of ME/CFS, FM and MCS. Detailed information about my approach to managing the symptoms of these conditions is found in “Let Your Light Shine Through” a manual/workbook to assist patients in identifying and managing symptoms (click here to purchase).
I read widely in the relevant medical literature and regularly attend medical conferences in an attempt to stay on the cutting edge of this rapidly emerging field. I will evaluate your history and symptoms and will direct you towards treatment approaches which may be of benefit. Many of the approaches used in this field are not yet proven in double blind placebo controlled trials and are rather based on the experience of senior physicians. There is not yet cure for ME/CFS, FM and MCS. My goal is to help you live as well as possible physically, cognitively and emotionally while medical research catches up and presents us with better treatment options. I am not trained in naturopathy, herbal medicine, energy medicine and other alternative approaches and cannot give guidance in these areas. My fees for individual assessment and group psychotherapy are covered by the Canadian public health care system.
Individual Biopsychosocial Assessment and Management
A thorough assessment for a new patient takes 3-4 hours of assessment time often over a couple of months. Most patients referred have very complex histories. For those with the financial means, testing or treatments outside that covered by the Canadian public health care system may be recommended. Note however that your access to my practice does not depend on your ability to access fee for service tests or services or your “compliance” with my recommendations. I am constantly reminded that each patient must find his or own path to recovery.
My assessment of every patient includes a psychiatric assessment. I enjoy working with patients who have ME/CFS, FM or MCS and concurrent psychiatric disorders. I offer a limited amount of individual psychotherapy for illness related issues when appropriate. Due to restrictions on my time I refer to more experienced colleagues when possible for psychotherapy. Those patients who live in the Calgary area are strongly encouraged to participate in the psychoeducational group while they are waiting for individual assessment.
- “Psychoeducational Group”- A 10 session X 2 hours group therapy to teach symptom management and psychological coping with ME/CFS, FM or MCS. This group is appropriate for newly referred patients who have a confirmed diagnosis unless they live out of Calgary, cannot get time off work or are too ill to attend a group.
- “Coping Group” – An ongoing psychodynamic psychotherapy group to assist patients to gain insight and make attitudinal and behavioral changes regarding coping with chronic illness and resolving other traumas and life issues. This group is appropriate for patients who have completed the Psychoeducational Group and are struggling with acceptance and coping. Focus is on psychological exploration and resolution of unresolved issues.
- “Diet and Lifestyle Group” – A 6 week group with a focus on increasing knowledge about a healthy diet and lifestyle and exploring barriers to change so that patients can make healthy changes despite energy limitations.
- “Dialectical Behavior Therapy group” – This DBT group follows Dr. Marsha Linehan’s DBT Skills Training Manual. It is an ongoing group limited to individuals with ME/CFS, FM and MCS who have completed the PEG group and are seeking assistance with emotional awareness and regulation. The 4 modules each lasting approximateloy 8 sessions include: mindfullness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness and emotional regulation. This group is co-facilitated with psychiatrist Dr. Karen Tanguay.
- “Neuroplastic Transformation” – This group is a revolutionary approach to curing persistent pain. Based on the work of Drs. Michael Moskowitz and Marla Golden participants learn that persistent pain is caused by the brain and is not evidence of tissue damage. By learning to use the conscious brain to override the unconscious pain signals, individuals can regain their lives, not just learn to live with the pain. This group is co-facilitated with psychiatrist Dr. Karen Tanguay.
ETeam Multidisciplinary cognitive and sensory assessment
This assessment is designed for people who have problems with thinking and remembering as a result of ME/CFS, FM, MCS and/or exposure to chemicals or biological toxins (eg. toxic mold). Only the medical assessment component of the ETeam is covered by Alberta Health Care. The other components are not covered. Link here to ETeam info
How the office works:
- All Canadian residents with a valid Canadian health care card may be referred.
- Patients with a diagnosis or probable diagnosis of ME/CFS, FM and MCS are eligible for assessment.
- Referrals must be made by a physician or registered psychologist.
- Patients who are smokers or have a recent history of substance abuse or violence will not be accepted as patients.
- I am a specialist and do not offer primary care; all patients must have a primary care physician.
When we receive your referral, Kathy Cormier my office manager will contact you to explain the referral process. You will be sent some questionnaires and will be asked to provide a copy of your medical history in your own words. Only when we receive this information from you will you be placed on the wait list for assessment. While you are waiting you are strongly encouraged to participate in the Psychoeducational Group since this will start you on the path to recovery and will shorten the assessment process.
Once your initial assessment is complete, you will receive a detailed, written copy of my opinion about your condition including a detailed history, diagnosis, diagnostic formulation (why I think you might have these problems at this time), prognosis and treatment recommendations. This letter will also be sent to your referring physician/psychologist. It is your choice whether to book follow up appointments to work on some of these recommendations or not.
Office Hours/ After hours coverage
I work part time. The office is generally open on Monday, Tuesday and Friday afternoons (11:30 am – 5:00 pm). Messages can be left on the office phone (403 287-9941) at any time and will be returned in a timely manner including weekends unless I am out of town. Patients will be given ample notice of absences so that they can ensure continuity of care with their family physician if needed. Any important messages with regards to scheduling or medication or containing personal information should be left on the phone answering machine and not by email.
Privacy of and access to information
This office meets all standards of Alberta’s Health Information Act. With a few legal exceptions, your medical record is confidential and you must provide written consent for us to disclose information to any third party. You may see your chart at any time and request photocopies (.25/pg) of any progress notes, lab results and consultations. You will be given copies of all correspondence sent from this office on your behalf. If you notice something in your chart or correspondence that is incorrect or unwanted, please discuss with me so that it can be changed or resolved.
Fragrance free environment
I, Kathy Cormier, my office manager, and many patients have serious health reactions to fragrances including: perfume, cologne, lotion, hair spray, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, soap, and tobacco smoke. If you arrive for an appointment with a fragrance, which cannot be easily take or washed off (in the private shower with towels provided), you will be asked to leave and reschedule your appointment. You can avoid this by purchasing and using unscented laundry products. We recommend Nature Clean® as the safest alternative. This can be purchased at most major retailers (Superstore and Safeway) and at the office. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Email notification of upcoming groups, educational events or important research
From time to time (approximately 2-3 times per year) an office newsletter is sent by email to all those who have indicated an interest to be on our mailing list. The emails let people know about groups, lectures, conferences or research that may be of interest as well as exciting news in the world of ME/CFS, FM and MCS. You may be on this email list even if you choose not to be a patient of the practice. The emails will not be used for any other purpose than to provide you with information and will not be shared with any third parties. To be added to this list, simply call the office and request to be added or indicate your interest on the “Contact Us” form. In between newsletters, important updates are sent on an as needed basis. For people without email, a paper copy of newsletters and updates will be mailed to you by Canada Post at a cost of $40/year. Call the office to sign up for this service.
Non AHC billable services: services for which you must pay directly My fee for time spent on clinical activities not covered by the Canadian public health care system is currently $225/hour. Medico-legal work is billed at $300/hour. Please note that these rates are subject to change. These fees are based on the fee schedule suggested by the Alberta Medical Association. If you are unable to pay the above fees, please discuss it with me ahead of time to make special arrangements. You will be charged at this rate for the following services:
- Missed Appointments
- Letters and Reports
- Phone Calls