Support groups
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What is a support group?

Support group is a type of intervention in which the facilitator brings together a small group of people with similar life challenges and emotional difficulties in the same session to encourage each one to discuss their concerns and help each other, others, under the facilitator's professional direction.

Why is a support group done?

As individual support, the group setting is effective in addressing problems such as emotional difficulties, as well as the impact of chronic or serious illnesses, difficulty relating, personality challenges, trauma, loss, and transitions among others.

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How does a support group function?

The facilitator selects between five and ten people to form a group whose goal is to talk with each other honestly and spontaneously. The facilitator acts as a guide so that the most significant topics for the participants are treated. Thanks to the interaction of the group, the modification of behaviors and attitudes of the participants are achieved, while at the same time improving their interpersonal relationship skills. Throughout the sessions, with the support of the facilitator and the other members of the group, each participant expresses their emotions and learns to listen and understand those of others, which facilitates the resolution of their personal improvement process.

Preparation for a support group

Before selecting participants, the therapist usually goes through an interview process to prepare the participant for the group. It is carried out in one session with three focuses in mind:

  • The first focuses on the reason for participating, how the participants talk about their challenges, their relationships, their current family history of origin and their work, and social history in general.

  • Second, detailed information about the support group is provided and its operation is described in a basic way. The participant's attitude regarding the information provided is taken into consideration.

  • Third, the participant is suggested to ask questions and doubts regarding all the information received during the interview. Information on relevant nuances is also expanded to establish individualized goals.

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