• chronic pain;
  • counselling;
  • focus groups;
  • multidisciplinary pain management programme

Dysvik E, Stephens P. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2010; 16: 233–240 Conducting rehabilitation groups for people suffering from chronic pain

The aim of this study was to offer guidelines for counsellors who work with rehabilitation groups of patients with chronic pain. The sample involved nine counsellors engaged in a multidisciplinary pain management programme. Two focus group interviews were conducted. Data were analysed using qualitative content analysis. These indicate that main challenges facing counsellors were related to maintaining constructive group processes and being mentally prepared. The counsellors reported that knowledge concerning self-awareness, theoretical frameworks and counselling techniques was important. Personal learning included: group leadership, teamwork, grasping the inside story and obtaining supervision. The results show how important it is to have trained counsellors that are well prepared to prevent and deal with challenging group processes. Counsellors need to understand the concept of pain and be acquainted with cognitive behavioural framework and group processes. The results indicate that counsellors perceive regular supervision as supportive and is likely to promote good team functioning.