Support groups are a great way to meet and interact with others going through a similar situation. Some support groups are led by professionals such as social workers, therapists and psychologist, others are led by peers. Either way, the goal of the leader is to facilitate a comfortable setting where all members feel safe to share and listen. Support groups are not group therapy. Group therapy is a formal type of therapy usually focused on a mental health condition. Some support groups are structured, meeting for a set number of days to cover a specific topic, others are more loosely structured with no set agenda other than to provide a place for members to share.
There are many benefits of a support group.
- You realize you are not alone. There’s something comforting about being around others who have been through a similar situation.
- You have a place to talk. Sometimes your friends or family may not fully understand your grief, or be unable to provide you with the support you need. A support group is where you can talk and others will understand.
- Support groups can be educational. Resources may be shared, topics may help you, and guest speakers may connect with you. You can learn ways to cope and process your emotions, how to handle new social interactions and upcoming holidays.
- A support group gives you social interaction. Many times during grief we shut down and isolate ourselves. A support group gets you out of the house and gives you something to do.
- We help others by sharing our experience. By sharing and listening, we reduce our stress, and hopefully set us on the path to having better days.
Arcy hosts support groups through out the year. Look under our Grief/Support tab for the latest information. GriefShare.org is a wonderful resource for grief support groups. From their homepage you can do a search for groups by inputting your zip code. You can also contact your local churches or synagogues to see if they host grief support groups.
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