Mirror Therapy: Retrain the Brain to Alter Pain and Improve Movement and Function

Mirror Therapy is an emerging therapeutic strategy for treating patients with pain and impaired movement. It integrates established principles of neuromuscular reeducation with supporting evidence in the neuroscience of pain and neuroplasticity.  Mirror therapy is a component of Graded Motor Imagery [GMI] which consists of laterality training, imagery and mirror therapy. This lecture will present a model to understand the role of the brain and ways to use a “top-down” treatment program to treat the changes that occur in the brain. This lecture is appropriate for therapists treating orthopedic as well as neurological consequences of injury.

This 1 day course consists of lectures, lab and review of individual case studies. Therapeutic intervention will be discussed at length that helps the change in the brain or cortical reorganization. At the completion of this course the student will have developed skills to take back to the clinic for immediate utilization.

At the end of the course each participant will be given a course evaluation and a self reflective questionnaire. This course content is not intended for use by any participants outside the scope of their license or regulation.

Course Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify 2 components of Mirror Therapy (MT) and 3 components of Graded Motor Imagery (GMI)
  • Identify 5 practical applications of Mirror Therapy and GMIP for 2 orthopedic (Phantom Limb Pain, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) and 2 neurologic (CVA, Traumatic Brain Injury) patient populations
  • Explain 2 brain changes that occur with Mirror Therapy and GMI
  • Recognize 3 pain mechanisms that occur with either Orthopedic or Neurologic diagnoses
  • Demonstrate 2 components of Mirror Therapy and 3 components of Graded Motor Imagery techniques
  • Identify the appropriate treatment technique (MT or GMI) for a specific neurologic or orthopedic diagnoses through the use of case studies

CE Credits

8 contact hours

This course is accepted by many professional credentialing organizations and state professional regulatory boards. Rules and regulations change frequently without notification, and apply differently to live and online courses. Please check with your state board to confirm accuracy of this list and acceptance of contact hours. Certificate of Attendance will be issued to all participants upon completion of the course and may be used for CEU verification of credits. CE credits vary by state. Please check with your state board/certifying agency to confirm conversion of contact hours to CE. See links below.


California OT Board: This course and instructor have been approved by the CA Board of OT for 6.5 contact hours of post-professional education in the advanced practice area of Hand Therapy. Approval #22-H15.

Physical Therapy Board of California: The Physical Therapy Board of California recognizes Rehab Education, LLC as an approval agency to approve providers offering continuing competency courses for CA licensed PTs and PTAs. This course is approved for 8 contact hours.

Florida PT Association: This course meets the standards set forth in Chapter 64B17-9, Florida for 8 (live) continuing education hours. Approval #CE20-683369. Accreditation of this course does not necessarily imply the FPTA supports the views of the presenter or the sponsors. (Course must be taken between 01-1-2020 and 12-31-2020)

FL State Occupational Therapy Board: Rehab Education, LLC is recognized as an approved provider for general Live CE courses.

Georgia State Occupational Therapy Board: Rehab Education, LLC is recognized as an approved provider for general Live CE courses. This course has been approved for contact hours.

NY State Physical Therapy Board: Rehab Education, LLC is recognized as an approved provider of PT and PTA continuing education by the NY State Education Department Board of Physical Therapy. (Course must be taken prior to 05-10-2022)

American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Approved Provider #6177: See states that currently recognize AOTA Approved Providers for OT

Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT): Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT): Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) / ProCert has awarded certification in the amount of 7 Continuing Competence Units (CCUs) to this activity. Approved CCUs are a unit of relative value of an activity based on its evaluation against a rigorous and comprehensive set of standards representing the quality of an activity. The CCU determination is a valuation applying many factors including, but not limited to, duration of the activity. No conclusion should be drawn that CCUs correlate to course hours. (Course must be taken between 09-2-2019 and 09-1-2021) Please check with your state physical therapy board to determine if they currently accept the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) certification.

  • AOTA Approval States

    These states currently recognize AOTA Approved Providers for OT continuing education either in regulatory language or by formal written communication to AOTA:

    District of Columbia
    New Hampshire
    New Mexico
    New York
    North Carolina
    North Dakota
    Rhode Island
    South Carolina
    South Dakota

    *Disclaimer: Rehab Education LLC provides this list for your convenience. At the time of listing, the following state boards accept courses by virtue of approval by other organizations. It is the responsibility of the participant registering for a course to check with their state board to confirm rules and regulations regarding acceptance of contact hours for live and online courses.

    The following PT Boards accept courses approved by other state PT boards or APTA state associations*:

    North Carolina

    The following PT Boards accept courses approved by other APTA state associations*:

    Rhode Island

    The following PT Boards accept courses provided by AOTA approved providers*:

    District of Columbia
    Rhode Island

    *NBCOT…National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy (view PDU requirements)

    +HTCC… Hand Therapy Certification Commission  (view recertification requirements)
    Hand Therapy Certification Commission (HTCC): This course is accepted by HTCC towards re-certification.

    State PT Boards
    State OT Boards


7:30 – 8:00 Registration
8:00 – 9:30 Understanding cortical reorganization of the brain
9:30 – 10:30 What are Mirror Therapy and Graded Motor Imagery?
10:30 – 10:45 Break
10:45 – 12:00 Centralization of pain and its consequences
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch Break
1:00 – 2:00 Clinical Application of Mirror Therapy
2:00-3:00 Lab: Clinical Case Reviews and Patient Care
3:00 – 3:15 Break
3:15 – 4:30 Lab: Continuation of Clinical Case Reviews and Patient Care
4:30 – 5:30 Designing a home program and protocols for home use


Susan W. Stralka, PT, DPT, MS

is a licensed physical therapist with many years of experience treating both musculoskeletal and neurovascular consequences of injury. She graduated from    University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) and earned a Master’s Degree and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from there. She has a strong clinical background in treating neurogenic and musculoskeletal consequences of injury. Susan has presented nationally and internationally.  

In March 2013 Dr. Stralka lectured in New Delhi, India at the International Federation Society of Hand Therapist (IFSHT) and in September 2013 was the keynote speaker at the Brazilian Society of Hand Therapist in Goiania, Brazil.   In  2013 and  again in 2014, she spent time in Sweden evaluating and treating  post op nerve injuries working a long side of Dr. Birgitta Rosen and  many hand surgeons at the Department of Hand Surgery , Malmo Sweden. Dr. Stralka recently spoke at the 38th annual ASHT meeting held in Denver October 2015. and in October 2016 in Buenos Aires, Argentina at the International Federation Society  for  Hand Therapist and Hand surgeons.  (IFSHT and IFSHS). Susan has written numerous articles and chapters on a wide variety of topics in the upper extremity and pain management.

Dr. Stralka has received numerous honors  throughout her career and recently  in 2012  was the recipient of the  Dorothy B. Kaufmann Lectureship given by Philadelphia Hand Rehabilitation Foundation.

Classes taught by Susan W. Stralka: