Understanding the Basics of Self-Help Groups

People have all sorts of problems that they find uneasy to deal with. Such a problem may either be a a normal situation or a personal issues, which can really take toll on someone time and again. To help ease such situations and other difficult times, people usually group themselves to form groups which they can use platforms for self-help of the members.

Self-help groups, also known as mutual help, mutual aid, or support groups, are groups of people who provide mutual support for each other. In a self-help group, the members share a common problem, often a common disease or addiction.

Self-help groups may exist separately or as part of larger organizations. They may operate informally or according to a format or program. The groups usually meet locally, in members’ homes or in community rooms in schools, churches, or other centers.

In self-help groups, specific modes of social support emerge. Through self-disclosure, members share their stories, stresses, feelings, issues, and recoveries. They learn that they are not alone; they are not the only ones facing the problem. This lessens the isolation that many people, especially those with disabilities, experience. Physical contact may or may not be part of the program; in many support groups, members informally hug each other.

Sourced from: http://psychcentral.com/lib/what-is-a-self-help-group/

Drug addicts are in need of therapy, which can really help them recover from their addiction. Giving up drugs is not so easy; peer support can be far reaching in helping solve the problem with guidance, encouragement, assistance and any other sort of benefit from self-help group. One self-help group which has really succeeded in this is Narcotics Anonymous (NA) which is helping drug addicts in treatment and recovery.

If you’re trying to give up drugs, peer support groups can be an invaluable source of guidance, assistance, and encouragement. Groups are very helpful, not only in maintaining sobriety, but also as a safe place to get support and discuss challenges.

Connecting with others who know first-hand what you’re going through can help reduce feelings of isolation, fear, and hopelessness. Staying motivated and positive is much easier when you have others you can turn to and lean on to help you get through tough times.

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is the most well-known and widely available self-help group for drug addicts in treatment and recovery. Unlike Alcoholics Anonymous, which is limited to alcohol problems, Narcotics Anonymous is open to substance abuse problems of all kinds.

A key part of a 12-step program is choosing a sponsor. A sponsor is a former addict who has time and experience remaining sober and can provide support when you’re dealing with the urge to use.

Sourced from: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/addiction/self-help-groups-for-drug-addiction.htm

Support groups have immense benefits that individuals can gain. They do not only help people with issues like drugs, they help develop new skills, provide a way of handling problems and also create a better platform for people to discuss any personal issues they have, which can possibly affect their psychological wellbeing.

Probably the biggest advantage of support groups is helping a patient realize that he or she is not alone — that there are other people who have the same problems. This is often a revelation and a huge relief to the person.

Being in a support group can also help you develop new skills to relate to others. In addition, the members of the group who have the same problems can support each other and may suggest new ways of dealing with a particular problem.

When joining a support group, you may be uncomfortable at first when it comes time to discuss problems in front of strangers. However, the fact that others are facing the same type of situation may help you open up and discuss your feelings. In addition, everything that takes place within the support group should be kept confidential.

Sourced from: http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/anxiety-support-group