Pain Connection, a program of U.S. Pain Foundation, will host a two-day training program for support group leaders in mid-March in San Francisco. The dates are most likely to be March 15-17, but will be confirmed in the coming week. All are welcome to apply to attend.

The trainings are designed to teach peer leaders and/or health professionals to work with individuals with chronic pain in a group setting. Attendees leave feeling empowered to begin their own local support groups, with ongoing guidance and help from Pain Connection. Presently, U.S. Pain and Pain Connection offer support groups in 14 states, in addition to three monthly conference call support groups.

The trainers for the weekend are Gwenn Herman, LCSW, DCSW, Clinical Director of Pain Connection, and Cindy Steinberg, U.S. Pain’s National Director of Policy and Advocacy. At the training, attendees learned about the ABCs of setting up and starting a support group. In addition, they learn about helping their group members to utilize their own internal healing abilities, the psychosocial stages of pain and grief, complementary health approaches, the Pain Connection group model, and how to develop a Treatment Tree Plan and Relapse Prevention Plan. Additional tools and skills taught include cognitive reframing, acupressure, self-massage, breathing techniques, and guided imagery.

To view a testimonial from a past participant, click here. For more information or to apply, email A limited number of scholarships to offset the cost of attending will be available for registered U.S. Pain Foundation volunteers.