by Linda Willits
Groups have many advantages but participating in one can feel daunting. These are some of the benefits a group can provide.
– Knowledge Acquisition:
Lectures offer knowledge, self care and coping techniques. It is motivating to try a new idea when a peer says they used a technique that allowed them to feel better or decreased their level of panic.
– A Sense of Connection:
Groups provide peer validation and encouragement in a welcoming environment. People who have experienced personal challenges tend to
be particularly compassionate toward others. The action of sharing
suggestions and acknowledgement is powerful. Peer acceptance contributes to self acceptance, personal growth and healing.
– Expanding Possibilities:
Groups are greater that the sum of their parts. The structure includes opportunities to practice skills as well as to interact.
Social involvement often leads to unexpected laughter, an antidote to depression. There are days that require extra individual effort to just make it to the program. Member presence, even on difficult days, creates the opportunity for inspiration and the facilitation of growth in one another.