Support Group Format
A facilitator (usually a volunteer) strives to ensure equal time for all, and keep the focus on appropriate topics. Judgemental comments & interruptions are aggressively discouraged.
The group sizes vary, but when the group grows to 10 participants we will generally split the group into two smaller groups. Each meeting is 2 hours long.
During the first hour each participant is given the opportunity to introduce themselves and their current issues. Speaking is optional – some participants prefer just to listen. If this is the case for you, just say “pass” at your turn.
After a half-time break, the second hour is devoted to open discussion of topics of general interest to the group, usually the focus falls on subjects which arose during the first half of the meeting.
Throughout the discussion there is an emphasis on ways to cope during difficult times, and ways participants can appreciate the positive aspects of their experiences and recognize progress when it does come.
It is not necessary to have a diagnosis before attending, but it is very important not to think of the groups as a substitute for proper diagnosis and treatment. That said, attending group can be an excellent way of gaining perspective and developing coping skills.