What makes a support group work for you?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by ctmom05, Nov 18, 2007.

  1. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    <span style='font-family: Courier New'>Over the years of being in the trenches of a place like this, I can see that one person reaching out to another really works!

    Face to face groups have been an asset for me, as well. I am not sure how many of you have tried something within your own community; but what kinds of things kept you going back to a group? I suppose another question might be what things would keep you from returning?

    I found that being part of a group that:
    met regularly
    had a skilled facilitator
    had guest speakers once in a while
    met at a time that was convenient for me...

    .....offered the things listed above kept me interested, whereas one that was as out of control as my kids and centered on negativity grew old real fast, as did a group that had no structure. Another thing helped things gel was the facilitator's approach.</span>
  2. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I have to agree that connecting to others is a huge help. It really gives one the light bulb moment that you aren't alone.

    Hearing other's share their stories and heart break, solutions, thoughts, learning, joy and successes is a huge part of what a/this support community has done for me.

    I like to hear what has gone on in a members experiences with a difficult child without reinventing the story. I prefer to hear the honest emotions and the truth. It gives me some resources or frame of reference when hit with a new difficult child type moment. If I heard about it here within the community, I am less inclined to be rattled.Knowing someone else has survived this particular horror and survived goes a long way towards helping me not want to jump out of my skin.

    The humor that is wrapped around a difficult child moment has gotten me through many a long day or night.

    The support system works best for me when members ask me questions about my particular issue of discussion and offer me alternative views and insights of their own.

    I think the big reason that a support community works well is that often we isolate ourselves from everyday people. Here we are free to come and go. Interact daily if one pleases, disappear for weeks or months at a time. There is a high level of tolerance for the most part.

    I did find, as the owner of this particular support site that a fairly clear cut set of rules, structure and boundaries kept things moving along in a civil way to all. Having a knowledgeable facilitator often came from the members themselves.

    Probably all of this basically comes down to acceptance of each other for the battle each of us faces.
  3. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    For me, it was being able to connect without actually meeting people or having to see them. Coming here has been a world of help.

    Much like disciplining a difficult child - the board is here, the rules are clear, the rewards are great and the consequences are swift.

    If asked we reach out and make our suggestions and hope you'll take something from it.

    I don't have to worry here that someone thinks I'm anything I'm not based on my looks (I am not an animal), my education level,(where did you earn your degree?) my social status (OH is she driving a NEW Land Rover), the clothes I wear (That's a Prada bag isn't it?) or what I look like (basically 2 eyes a nose 1 mouth, 2 ears)

    I like being a squirrel licking giraffe today and a donkey tomorrow. - The board, and individual counseling worked for me!
  4. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    This is a timely post for me. We just started a support group about 3 weeks ago. So I really appreciate the different insights.

    We have decided that we want to be an encouragement to each other. Not just come and dump our woes in each others laps. We want to spur each other on to grow in spite of our difficult circumstances.

    I hope this new group works out in our small community. We all need the support of other people who really get it. Ya know?
  5. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    I think that what helps a support group to work over time is the concept of cherishing through change. Those of us confused enough about how what happened to any of us came about are looking for a new set of rules, a new way of seeing a problem and arrowing in on a solution.

    There are no correct or incorrect answers, because change only comes with time.

    Which is where the cherishing, or the nonjudgmental acceptance part, comes in.

    Here on the site, I think we have all been (or at least I know I have) in that place where rationalization is is all we have.

    So we rationalize our situations, because we don't know yet how to change.

    I liked the way Fran phrased it.