35 Reasons It IS Beneficial To Attend a Group

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Support can come out of any group that meets regularly whether or not it is called a support group.

  • Support groups can be purposeful and formal like a 12 step group, a Bible study class, a diabetes care group, or a weight watchers meeting.
  • They can have an informal agenda like a group of folks who meet every Sunday morning before the second service at church, moms who meet at the park in the afternoons after school, or seniors who meet every Thursday morning for coffee.
  • Bible study groups, informal groups, or topic-generated groups can turn into a support group.
  • On Tuesday, April 13th we started a new class for folks dealing with chronic pain/illness. In honor of that class I generated a list of potential benefits for attending that class.

Read on for 35 reasons it is beneficial to attend a support group.

  1. To be around others who are experiencing a similar life experience
  2. To hear others say what you are saying/thinking
  3. Figuring out how you are feeling/thinking because of hearing about others’ thoughts/feelings
  4. Relieve isolation
  5. A place to give voice to your hopes, fears, losses
  6. And for those hopes, fears and losses to be heard!
  7. Place to be understood
  8. Place to speak openly and honestly
  9. Learn what to do to have a better, more peaceful lifestyle
  10. Learn how to live with a disability, disease or new situation
  11.  Studies show that people who attend healthy support groups tend to live longer.
  12. They are also less depressed and more motivated to take care of themselves.
  13. Finally they often feel less overwhelmed and more in control of the disease and/or pain.
  14. Place to find and give inspiration, support, exhortation, hope, and information
  15. Friendship with like-minded individuals
  16. Feel helped and guided not attacked and belittled
  17. Help in applying your faith to problems
  18. Reminder to live one day at a time
  19. Reminder that this is not all there is to life – Heaven is coming!
  20. Reminder that you are more than your disease/pain/situation
  21. To be around others who’ll understand the  fear, anger, resentment, grief, and /or helplessness you feel about your changing body/situation and that you are not “you” any more
  22. Be around people who will not belittle you or take you too seriously because they have been, are, or will be where you are emotionally, physically, spiritually
  23. Be around people who won’t coddle you
  24. Place to learn effective self-care techniques
  25. Model taking care of yourself
  26. Learn how to love yourself
  27. Share experiences, information, encouragement, support and hope
  28. Help you understand yourself
  29. Be with people who don’t see you as a problem to be solved
  30. Be around others who didn’t know you “before” and so aren’t sad/grieving with you about that loss
  31. Be  around others who show that “this” disease/pain/situation is livable
  32. Be able to go on this journey with someone else
  33. Be around those who have realistic expectations for you and your life
  34. See what realistic expectations look like
  35. Feel a sense of belonging

Your Turn. Which ones do you identify with? What has been left off the list? What makes you mad?

Entry filed under: chronic pain, Grief, Learning, Small Groups. Tags: , .

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