diagnosis: Chronic Pain


Chronic pain is one of the most common reasons individuals seek medical services in the United States. In fact, chronic pain impacts nearly 50 million Americans and up to 1.5 billion individuals worldwide (Dahlhamer et al., 2018). The evidence-based group treatments highlighted here were selected based on the results of a recent meta-analysis looking at group therapy for pain (Alldredge et al., 2023). To be included, the treatment needed the support of multiple RCTs examining changes in pain intensity for individuals participating in group psychotherapy who were diagnosed with or treated for fibromyalgia, chronic pain, and/or specific pain. Articles included in the meta-analysis also required at least 20 participants in each trial arm at the first post-assessment and groups needed to meet at least three times face-to-face for the purpose of therapy.

Although some of the resources included are specific to individual therapy, these materials can be adapted to group therapy. The page of promising treatments for chronic pain includes additional approaches with emerging research.


Alldredge, C. T., Rosendahl, J., Burlingame, G. (2023). Group psychotherapy for chronic pain: A meta-analysis. Psychotherapy, 60(2), 194-205. https://doi.org/10.1037/pst0000485

Dahlhamer, J., Lucas, J., Zelaya, C., Nahin, R., Mackey, S., DeBar, L., Kerns, R., Von Korff, M., Porter, L., & Helmick, C. (2018). Prevalence of chronic pain and high-impact chronic pain among adults – United States, 2016. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 67(36), 1001–1006.