Is is just me, or is this not funny? Somebody better call quality control. Oh wait, that’s me. I must not be doing my job. I guess at least there is an important message on support groups contained in this comic. No? Well, it’s nice to look at?
The line between therapy and a support group is a fuzzy one. In both there is structure to the meeting. In both you say what is bothering you. You might get solid suggestions on tools to try to feel better and cope with your illness. Certainly you would expect support from both types of environment too. So what is the difference?
I think perhaps the idea of progress is not as prominent in a support group setting. The purpose is not to work on some issue over an extended period of time. There is a focus on the present moment. We aren’t worried about what patterns of behavior first caused us to be this way. And by the same token, we concentrate on what we can do now to deal with our situation.
And there’s the inspiration factor too. Several times someone has come to our support group wrapped up in their own expectations of life. When they see people with jobs and families and relationships they realize that there are still possibilities for them. Having a real life example of recovery is invaluable. As one of our principles of support state – we are not alone. And sitting around a table with people who have faced the same struggles as you and come out the other side is on the whole priceless.
But what I think about most when I think about support is an environment where you will be accepted when you express yourself. No one will tell you not to think that way, even if it’s a really bad way to think. You won’t shock people that you could think such a thing. We’ve all thought some pretty incredible things too. It’s a safe place. Someplace you can relax.
A professional relationship drives therapy, or course. It is yet another business deal. I’m not saying it isn’t important. It is. But please, don’t forget how wonderful a support group is.