On March 3 and 4, U.S. Pain Foundation hosted an intensive training for 11 future chronic pain support group leaders in Phoenix, AZ.

The training program was developed by Gwenn Herman, LCSW, DCSW, clinical director of Pain Connection, a program of U.S. Pain. By training more group leaders, U.S. Pain hopes to expand its network of support groups. Presently, U.S. Pain and Pain Connection offer support groups in eight states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, and California, in addition to three conference call support groups.

At the training, attendees learned about empowering 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 that participants learned were: cognitive reframing, acupressure, self-massage, breathing techniques and guided imagery.

All the participants reported on evaluations that the training exceeded their expectations. “I’m thrilled I was able to join this training, and I feel really empowered,” said one attendee.

The next training will be held June 16 and 17 in Chicago, IL. Preference will be given to participants in the following states: MN, IA, MO, AK, LA, WI, IL, MI, IN, KY, TN, AL, OH, WV, VA, SC, NC, GA, and FL.

Scholarships are available for U.S. Pain volunteers, which covers the hotel stay, breakfasts and lunches, and flights up to $400. Recipients must be willing to start and lead a support group in their area. A fee of $50 if selected to attend—to hold the spot and confirm commitment—will need to be paid by credit card or check.

To apply, fill out and submit this form by April 20.