A support group is one where people with a similar problem get together and support each other in facing the problem. It is a warm and welcoming place where they can talk about their experiences and listen to each other’s stories.
In a support group, people feel safe to share their thoughts and feelings without fear of being judged. They know that everyone in the room truly understands what they are going through. As a facilitator – trainer, I lead support groups by encouraging and supporting the discussion and the organizing of group activities. Support Groups are never the main form of therapy for people with different mental health problems. However, they can be helpful when used with other forms of therapy.
What does the term addiction mean?
The term addiction derives from the Latin word addicere= “to sentence”. Someone who is addicted to a drug, in a way, is sentenced to a term of involuntary servitude, being obliged to fulfil the demands of his or her drug dependency.
What is an addiction?
An addiction is a brain disorder characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences.
- Even though, there is a number of psychosocial factors involved, a biological process – one which is induced by repeated exposure to an addictive stimulus – is the core pathology which actually drives both the development as well as the maintenance of an addiction.
- Addictive drugs are those whose reinforcing effects are so potent that some people who are exposed to them are unable to go for very long without taking them. Their lives become organized around taking them.
- Originally, addictive drugs came from plants, which used them as a defense against insects or other animals that otherwise would eat them, but chemicals have synthesized many other drugs that have even more potent effects.
- If a person regularly takes some addictive drugs (most notably, the opiates), the effects of the drug show tolerance, and the person must take increasing doses to achieve the same effect.
- If a person then stops taking the drug, withdrawal effects, opposite to the primary effects of the drug, will occur.
- However, withdrawal effects are not the cause of addiction – the abuse potential of a drug is related to its ability to reinforce drug-taking behaviour.
Some support groups and conditions for which such groups may be formed are:
- Anxiety Disorders
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Domestic violence
- Eating Disorders
- Mood Disorders
- Sexual abuse survivors
- Sleep Disorders
- Suicide Prevention
What are the benefits of joining Support Groups?
Addiction Support Groups can hugely benefit both individuals in rehab as well as people transitioning back into their lives after treatment.
Support Groups help both newly recovering individuals and those in long-term recovery, alike, providing the support and guidance needed to maintain their sobriety and, of course, their physical and mental stability.
Through their participation in the Support Group of their choice, interested parties reap the following benefits:
- Meeting new people who wish to put an end to their addiction and lead a healthy life
- Learning skills to conquer cravings
- Getting support during difficult emotional times
- Having people to hold them accountable
- Knowing that they are not alone
- Knowing that they can share their thoughts, emotions and experiences
I offer and facilitate the following support groups :
- Support Group for Addiction to Illegal Substances
- Support Group for Alcohol Addiction
- Support Group for Smoking Cessation
- Support Group for Anxiety and Panic Disorder
- Support Group for Grief, Mourning and Loss
- Support Group for Eating Disorders
You will find the periods that they are offered under the Application Tab.
How are Support Groups currently run?
Due to COVID-19, my support groups are offered online.
The rules on which my Support Groups operate
I would like to bring to the attention of interested parties that the above support groups operate on specific rules which every single participant is called upon to comply with. The ones that constitute their cornerstone are:
(a) Respect confidentiality. As it is likely that Support Group members will hear interesting and powerful stories in our meetings, we all have to ensure that all this sharing stays within the group, thus, respecting the privacy of others. Furthermore, they are aware that they are free to share their own thoughts on the subject with friends and family, if they wish to. However, they are forbidden and, thus, cannot disclose information on any of the other members of the group.
(b) No question is too silly. Group members are welcomed to ask questions within the Support Group that they attend. As a matter of fact, people maximize their benefit from their participation, when they take time to advocate their needs. So, if they find something incomprehensible, or if they realize that they have a different perspective, it would be wonderful to share it within the group as, in this way, they help to expand the group’s knowledge and horizons. Furthermore, they indirectly encourage other members, who may be shy and lack confidence, to grow stronger and, gradually, to become vocal.
(c) Mutual respect