After every group program, participants always asked about getting together with
their colleagues once the group finished. In the beginning there was no formal
process for this, but we quickly recognized the importance of the request and
provided seed money to the patients, who had become volunteers in the program,
to develop their own group.
There was no formal venue for this to occur and so it was left up to individual’s to
make their own plans, with only one rule governing membership—people must have
already gone through the ECPM pain program. This prevented participants in the
self-help group from using the group as a place where they could complain about
The goal of the group includes getting together with other people who understand
pain, sharing in the educational process through guest speakers and information
sessions, and collectively supporting one another in a positive environment.
The group has been going strong since 2002.