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Idkwiaowiw
01-04-2010, 05:26 AM
Hi.
As research for my book, I'm trying to find as much information as I can about support groups. Has anyone actually been inside of one (for longer than one session)? I'm curious as to what goes on, particularly a self-funded support group. I know the basis starts with sharing stories, but what happens after that? Is it just the day-to-day life? For example, if you're in a support group for OCD, would members just talk about relapses/urges they've had since the last meeting? Any help is appreciated!

AyJay
01-04-2010, 06:10 AM
It depends on what kind of support group you're writing about. I'm a social worker so I have some experience running different kinds of groups.

Some groups are very structured, as in the AA model, which has a long list of derivatives (i.e. any self-help group that ends with 'Anonymous' - Narcotics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, etc.). These groups are led by members who are further along in the process of recovery and typically involve reciting the group's creed like the Serenity Prayer, one or more members sharing their personal story of addiction and then others invited to speak if they'd like to.

Professionally-facilitated groups will involve more interaction between members since a facilitator will encourage everyone to participate and direct them to respond to one another.

For the OCD group that you mention, members talking about relapses and urges would certainly make sense. Another thing to consider is whether you're describing an open or closed group. Open groups may have different members each week so everyone has to get to know each other thus each group is kind of like the first time. In a closed group, a smaller number of people may have been meeting for weeks or months so the content of their discussion will have more depth and continuity.

Hope that helps.

Vanatru
01-14-2010, 09:30 AM
Hi.
As research for my book, I'm trying to find as much information as I can about support groups. Has anyone actually been inside of one (for longer than one session)? I'm curious as to what goes on, particularly a self-funded support group. I know the basis starts with sharing stories, but what happens after that? Is it just the day-to-day life? For example, if you're in a support group for OCD, would members just talk about relapses/urges they've had since the last meeting? Any help is appreciated!

Currently I'm in an AA group working on dealing with my dependency on alcohol. I don't really go that often, but thanks to a fellow AA drug/drink member I've made some contact.

We've shared our history and how it came about and how it's affected our families. At first, at least for me, it was a rather shameful and humilating experience when you realize how far you've fallen and lost that much control of your life.

As the meetings go by, you realize your really not that different from so many others...and you start to feel better as you try to regain control of your life.

My sponsor is a fellow drinker and drug abuser....though he is the music industry and his exposure is from groupies and such....your sponsor is available 24 hours a day to call whenever you feel a craving.

It's day by day thing. We try to have daily/weekly get togethers to talk about how things are going and to give support to each other. For AA we have tokens....for each day we make it we get a token...and then exchange them for longer duration tokens...like weekly monthly etc.

We try to be honest and admit when we slip....and I do....but work on the long term outcome and bit by bit we try to get ahead....if we're truly trying to make progress.

My sponsors gone a year without a relapse drink or drugs. At this point I'm week by week.

Xelebes
01-16-2010, 05:07 AM
I've been to only a Tourette's support group (which is close to OCD) and it is split between parents of children with TS and adults with TS. Since I've never been to a group where we had enough people to split the group into two, we mixed together and so were able to share stories and offer advice to certain problems.

The group starts out with an introduction to what the group is and what resources are available with the group and the organisation that runs the group. After that, there are introductions and we each share our status - how we're coping and what not. After the round of introductions, stories are shared and then we offer advice to specific problems shared within the stories. This is the basic structure of the group until time is up.