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The Benefits of Participating in Support Groups

Submitted by Dylan Boot, Independent Living Specialist

When you think of support groups and group counseling, what comes to mind? That you’ll be forced to share your deepest, darkest secret or even to talk at all? That it’s not for you because you’re very independent and just won’t benefit? That all it is is listening to the leader talk? That it isn’t as effective as scheduling one-on-one appointments with your counselor or specialist? That you’ll be judged or criticized by others in the group?

If any of these concerns have crossed your mind, you are not alone! Many people are hesitant to try support groups. However, in the vast majority of situations, the concerns that I listed above are not true. Yes, there are some poorly run support groups, but not many. If you try a group out and you decide it’s not for you, it’s okay to seek out another group in the area.

There are many benefits of participating in support groups. Attending these groups helps people realize that they are not alone – that there are others dealing with similar issues. Also, being in a support group can help you develop new skills and teach you how to relate to others.

I encourage you to try a support group. PACE has a number of them to try out! Our groups have various focuses, from adjusting to low vision or blindness, to learning independent living skills, to support groups for the Deaf and hard of hearing to readying people to search for, and obtaining, a job. If you are looking for something different, you can visit the Family Service Self Help Center and search for other support groups, or give us a call at PACE and we’ll be happy to assist you in finding a group that meets your needs.

Contact PACE if you would like more information regarding support groups or group counseling.

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Check back with us next week for more from the PACE staff!

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