It means a place where people with common interests and challenges come together to share sentiments, be heard, and experience trust.
- People collaborating and working together.
- Affirming awareness of taken-for-granted notions.
- Increased sense of confidence to act and respond to challenges.
In the course of attending to client needs, some reactions are nudged to the rear of consciousness.
The support group is a space where therapists can acknowledge and begin the process of integrating such reactions.
These support groups, however, allow for a wider scope of interest. In my experience with consultation, is the scope of discussion tended to be limited and focused on the client or delivery of service.
My preference is to remove constraints on what people discuss. Emphasis is on the well-being of group members, and it is important that they discuss what is relevant to them personally and professionally.
I also include with personal the innermost thoughts, underlying assumptions, and notions of the clinician. The subjective or backend of what goes on during the client and therapist interaction.
I recall a lesson from years ago while facilitating a multi-family group and asking people to pair up with a stranger and share about a favorite film. Someone strongly objected to the exercise because the information was too personal to share.
The members of the support group determine for themselves what and how much to share with others.
Incidentally, I avoid the use of diagnostic labels in all facets of my work because of the artificial barrier they erect between myself and clients. I find that the avoidance helps to ground me and to be more authentically present.
People may seek assistance for any sort of need or concern. The support groups for therapists assist with making wise adjustments to the challenges faced in careers and life in general.
However, somethimes life’s challenges morph into stubborn snags that require a more intense form of support. In such circumstances a more spicific, narrowly focused form of support may be what is needed to move forward.
These support groups are most useful for general reflection and integrtation of experiences and lean toward preventive in nature.