Pain Connection, a program of the U.S. Pain Foundation, has announced that its next training for chronic pain support group leaders will be held Feb. 29 and March 1 in San Diego, CA. The trainings are led by Gwenn Herman, LCSW, DCSW, Clinical Director of Pain Connection, and Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Policy and Advocacy for U.S. Pain Foundation.

Currently, Pain Connection offers 19 in-person support groups and five monthly support group calls. Each of these offerings is led by an individual who attended a weekend training and learned about Pain Connection’s evidence-based support group model.

At the trainings, in addition to understanding the Pain Connection support group model, attendees learn about:

  • The logistics of running a successful group
  • Empowering group members to utilize their own internal healing abilities
  • The psychosocial stages of pain and grief
  • Incorporating complementary health approaches and other strategies for pain (such as cognitive reframing, acupressure, self-massage, breathing techniques)
  • Developing Treatment Tree Plans and Relapse Prevention Plans

To apply to start a support group in your area and attend the next training, please fill out the application form by Dec. 23. Applications will be reviewed and a phone interview will be arranged. If you are selected, you will be contacted via email.

The fee to attend is $375 for general attendees. However, if you have been a U.S. Pain volunteer for at least three months and can commit to starting a support group in your area, you are eligible to receive a scholarship to attend the training. The scholarship includes the cost of the training, your hotel stay, Saturday and Sunday breakfast and lunch, and $400 toward travel costs. Any additional costs will be your responsibility. To confirm your attendance and ensure your commitment, you must submit a non-refundable $50 deposit.

If you are not selected to attend this training, keep in mind that future opportunities will be available.  For questions, email gwenn@painconnection.org. You can also read more about past trainings here.