self help vs mutual aid

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Nomad, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I got the newsletter from Hazeldon and the topic was self help vs mutual aid
    It compares their group (like AA) to self help. The idea is that with- self help a person wants to and believes they can do it themselves. With mutual aid, the power of the group helps one another get better.

    Does this apply at all to our difficult children? I'm not talking about drinking or drugging. I'm talking about faulty thinking, impulsiveness, poor choices...

    Do they realize they are making these poor choices? Do they want to get better? Do they think they can do this on their own? Do they want help from others? Who are these "others?" Can we help them? If so, how much is appropriate? It seems to me that we just can not do it kinda is impossible. Also, do you think group therapy would help our difficult children?

    Here is the newsletter...

    Self-Help or Mutual Aid?
    Assisting Others

    The Twelve Step movement is sometimes called a self-help program. This falls short of describing what it really is. Mutual aid might be a better term.

    Self-help implies that an individual will help himself or herself. Mutual aid is a much different sort of thing. With mutual aid, we do help ourselves, but we have found that the best way to do this is by helping each other. Self-help says, "I can do it," whereas mutual aid says, "We can do it."

    We should not dismiss the idea of self-help or of doing one's best in achieving self-improvement. We must know, however, that we need the assistance and loving help of others for our highest growth. There are times when we will feel helpless and alone. That's when mutual aid will carry the day for us and perhaps even save our lives.
  2. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Interesting. I think "self-help" is the starting point ... you have to help yourself to get to a meeting to get the mutual aid :)

    When it comes to difficult children, I think the answer is, "it depends."

    With my Oldest, I am beginning to believe she will never get help or change. Oh, I know there's always hope, but since she will not acknowledge any of her issues (beyond seeking self-pity for her "messed up life" and all the bad things that always happen to her), she is not likely to seek help, let alone sit in a group of people and share or accept their help and advice. I think if she even got to a group, she'd simply see it as another group of people to [try to] manipulate. For a difficult child with any type of personality disorder, I think group therapy would be pretty tough.

    My Youngest, on the other hand, is more open to self-analysis and seems to have some insight into her own behaviors and thought processes, when she wants to work at it. She also has a great deal of empathy (for everyone but me lol) and does well with "mutual aid" and group therapy, at least she did when she participated in it years ago.
  3. Star*

    Star* call 911


    As always, something very thought provoking....will have to think on this some more. Inclined to think they DO know they are doing wrong. Pondering it.

    Good post.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    CVA...Im with you on the it depends. Maybe I am very thin skinned on this issue. I dont know exactly how a twelve step program would work for a mental health problem. I really cant imagine it doing much. I tried OA twice and both groups were stupid in my opinion. I couldnt imagine how they would ever help anyone when you werent allowed to even talk about FOOD! Ive never been to AA but I would assume you can say alcohol or I wouldnt think it would work well...but maybe not. Who knows. I dont think Im a huge fan of 12 steps...

    I dont know if self help is considered only doing things by yourself or if self help is considered seeking out help for yourself. I think in the beginning I would rather seek out help one on one rather than be in a group...or be in a one on one situation in addition to attending a group but if dealing with a mental illness, I dont think a 12 step program would be the ideal group.