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Group support - always a good thing ?


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Most of the time -- yes.

It helped me with grief. It did not take away any pain & suffering. There were no means to do that from any quarter. But, the 'group', which was an nternet talk board, did help with camaraderie and a place to talk. It was not group therapy; nor, individual therapy. Clearly, grief is not destructive drinking. So, the analogy may fail.

I did drink heavily for a period of time. I did decide to do that. A poor decison; but, I made it. It was my job to stop. I did go to SMART Recovery on line after I stopped. After I learned what I needed to learn, I had nothing left to say or contribute. The job was done. I saw no reason to stay.

So, going by my experience with an on line grief group and SMART, I would say that a support group can be useful. Not curative; but, useful.

I see a possibility that a person may have unrealistic expectations regarding support groups.

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Guest GingerSnap

My husband is joining an SAA group online (we live in the boonies) and I am anxious to see what effect it may have and I do worry that it might make things worse which we really don't need right now.

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Claire, I agree. A group can be helpful under the circumstances that you described. And, dysfunction within a group is a real possibility.

Such a group is not, cannot be, the driver. The individual is, and must be, the driver.

A person who has unrealistic expectations may be hurt or disappointed when thse expectations are not met. There are limits to what a mortal human can do for another.

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Having just read the latest wisdom in "Readers' Comments" under the "Is AA a cult" thread, I am moved to add that I would not equate "peer pressure" with "group support". It would be nice to think that nobody else In Here would, either, but there appears to be some reason to doubt this.

Yours from the Julius Schreck Barracks,

JR

Lublin? Wikipedia has a few nice pictures.

I agree, peer pressure isn't support, but for many it's the closest thing available.

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I think that peer support can be great, but in self-help groups like AA the bottom line is the Ideology supporting the support. There is simply too many bad ideas in the AA's Foundations.

Many people can translate bad Ideology into something that beneficial to a target person, but too often the message reaches the target uncut.

AB

Lublin? Wikipedia has a few nice pictures.

I agree, peer pressure isn't support, but for many it's the closest thing available.

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Guest ASchwartz

JR and All,

Just to throw my "two cents" in, there is a huge difference between a support group and peer pressure. Peer pressure has, as part of its definition, forcing members to conform to the wishes of the group, regardless of the individual feelings and needs of the individual. Support Groups have as their purpose to give emotional support to people who are experience stress, depression, trauma, etc, the list goes on. There are multiple types of support groups, such as those for new mothers, young wome with their first pregnancies, survivors of trauma, etc. They are not designed to force conformity but just to help members feel that they will be OK with what they are experiencing and feeling with this problem at this time. Lastly, support groups are short term, meaning that members leave and are replaced by other new people.

Hope this helps,

Allan

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Allen, I agree.

In the grief group -- on line - there was support and feed back; no peer pressure. There were limits - pain removal was not possible - but I did get a result of improved coping.

There was , at Smart Recovery, tools that I found useful [ based upon REBT]. And, a useful - to me - amount of support/commiseration. I did not ask for or expect more than that.

peer pressure and support do not, in my view, go together. I see a conflict between the two.

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Just to throw my "two cents" in, there is a huge difference between a support group and peer pressure. Peer pressure has, as part of its definition, forcing members to conform to the wishes of the group, regardless of the individual feelings and needs of the individual. Support Groups have as their purpose to give emotional support to people who are experience stress, depression, trauma, etc, the list goes on.

Allan

Unless one believes in some sort of God or takes on some sort of "higher power", they should not expect any type of support in the rooms. After you've been around a bit, your "higher power" should conform to the God of everyone else in the room. As it was explained to me, "It says 'WE came to believe', not 'I decided'."

I found nothing but pressure to start believing in God. I was called a liar, that I was only trying to draw attention to myself. I was told I wasn't being honest with myself by claiming I didn't believe. I wasn't being willing or teachable.

I never received any support, the 'unconditional love' they talk about in the rooms is reserved for believers.

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