Thursday, March 23, 2006

How to choose a good support group for agoraphobia

Support groups can be helpful in recovering from agoraphobia. Going to a support group can help you to know that you are not alone in your suffering and give you a chance to build relationships with people who are going through the same thing and will understand what you are going through. At support groups, agoraphobia sufferers can share their successes with one another and give each other encouragement.

There are basically two types of support groups:

1) Professionally led
2) Peer led

If you are thinking about finding a support group, here is what you should expect from each type of support group:

A professionally led group should offer professional training in cognitive and bahavioral recovery methods, the latest information on agoraphobia related to recovery, referrals for medication as needed, opportunities for support/counseling for the sufferer and for close friends or family.

A peer led group should offer insight from people's personal experiences in recovery, self-help recovery methods, a supportive atmosphere of care and confidentiality, and information on agoraphobia, treatments, and medications.

Peer led support groups should also promote the use of research proven recovery methods (cognitive and behavioral) and encourage sufferers to be disciplined in the practice of facing their fears using these methods. Peer led support groups can also be a good source of accountability for setting goals and actively striving to meet them.

Finally, peer led support groups should be free of charge. Only pay for a support group if it is led by a professional.

15 Comments:

At 7:59 AM, Anonymous susan said...

Steve, where can I find agoraphobia in person support groups? I live in the San Diego CA
area, and this would be a much needed outlet for me, although I don't know where to start. Any suggestions?

 
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