Support groups

A network of individuals who give courage, confidence, and help to one another through empathy, insight, and constructive feedback. In psychiatry, these groups are especially helpful for patients with substance use disorders and for family members of patients with a psychiatric disorder.

A group of individuals with the same or similar problems who meet periodically to share experiences, problems, and solutions, in order to support each other. For example, group members may themselves have, or have a family member or friend suffering from, a disease such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, or alcoholism. The group may be sponsored by the individual members, a health care institution, a church, or other body.

Patients or families of patients with similar problems such as breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, alcoholism, or other life experiences, who meet to assist each other in coping with the problems and seeking solutions and ways of coping. The composition and focus of support groups varies. Some groups may comprise patients who are experiencing or have experienced the same disorder. Discussions often center on current treatments, resources available for assistance, and what individuals can do to improve or maintain their health. Other groups involve those who have experienced the same psychological and emotional trauma such as rape victims or persons who have lost a loved one. Benefits expressed by members in elude the knowledge that they are not alone, but that others have experienced the same or similar problems and that they have learned to cope effectively.

A network of people who help each other cope with a particular problem.

An assemblage dedicated to offering compassion and emotional solace to its members, constituting the fundamental objective of the group. Support groups, in contrast to group therapy, are less structured and oriented toward specific goals.