Support group trainings

All Pain Connection support group leaders are required to attend an in-depth weekend training. The trainings are conducted in an accessible, compassionate environment, designed with patients in mind.

The trainings help empower support group leaders to kickstart effective, evidence-based support groups with an emphasis on education. (Leaders are provided with ongoing assistance in running their groups via monthly conference calls.)

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 and a longtime support group leader. Both Cindy and Gwenn live with pain themselves.


Next training

In-person trainings are currently on hold due to COVID-19. Contact us for more information about future trainings.


Past trainings

Pain Connection hosts 1-2 trainings a year in different parts of the country. Learn more about past trainings.


At the trainings, attendees learn about:

  • The logistics of running a successful group
  • The Pain Connection group model
  • 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

For general applicants, the fee to attend is $375.

Scholarships are available to U.S. Pain volunteers who have been signed up for at least three months.


Sue Ann Stelfox Pain Connection Training Scholarships are available to U.S. Pain volunteers who have been signed up for three months or more. The scholarship includes the cost of the training, your hotel stay, Saturday and Sunday breakfast and lunch, and $500 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. 

To learn more about Sue Ann Stelfox, read the scholarship announcement.

Ready to join our team of support group leaders? Email us.

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