Self-Help Group

Page 1 of 3

Self-Help Group

By | November 2005
Page 1 of 3
People grow in interaction with many systems, such as school systems, neighborhood systems, and extended family systems. These systems offer a needed source of social support. Social support systems are continuing social aggregates that provide individuals with opportunities for feedback about themselves and for validations for their expectations about others, which may offset deficiencies in these communications within the larger community context (Ashford, Lecroy, & Lortie, 2001). Social support systems can be classified into five different types: self-help groups, social networks, natural helpers, formal organizations, and formed groups. Self-help groups are different from the other groups because they control their own resources and policies, that is the group is self governing and self regulating. It serves three primary functions to its members: to receive information on how to cope, obtain material help when necessary and lastly feel cared about and supported. Self- help groups are fundamentally based on the idea that people with like experiences can offer the best information regarding these three functions. Self-help groups are becoming increasingly popular, and participants are able to express their feelings and receive emotional support from people who share their experiences. Being in a group with people who relate to your experiences not only allows people gain confidence, it gives them a feeling that they can take action to solve their own problems. Self-help groups for disorders are a way of empowering people to help themselves, and others, on the path to recovery. Participation in a self-help group can end the painful isolation of suffering alone with a disorder that is disruptive and debilitating for the individual and those people around him/her. An effective group should help members achieve recovery through mutual support as well as provide them with updated information about causes and treatment. It also provides a clear structure, in that...