We are all part of a community and we need the support of other people in different situations during life. Mutual support strengthens individuals, families, communities, and society as a whole. The people we rely on and whom we support make up our social support networks. These networks occur in everyday life, that is, in the family, work, school, community, and are permanent ties, likewise, networks can grow or weaken, as those who integrate them change their relationships, with the passage of time. weather.
It is a strategy aimed at cooperation and support between people who live with the same problem, so that each member can improve their competence when adapting to the problem in question or its consequences and face possible complications future. In addition, it allows the expression of doubts, fears and emotions derived from their experience in a welcoming environment and where they will meet other subjects who have gone through the same thing and will understand each other.
In support groups, interaction and cooperation are favored, as well as the assumption of responsibilities for themselves in each of the members. All members of the group are equally important and have the same right to express themselves, there is no hierarchy between them. The groups are usually mediated by a professional, who directs the session and acts as a moderator and is dedicated to ensuring that all members can express themselves freely and equally.
Support groups do not have to have a specific structure, although they are usually of two specific types. On the one hand, they can be closed groups, in which a certain number of subjects are enrolled and, once started, new people cannot be admitted. This forces people to commit to attending a specific number of sessions. Another type of group is open, in which participation is free and whoever and whenever they want can attend or stop, and new subjects can join the group.
Some advantages of support groups are:
- Living in certain situations can be a traumatic experience. In addition to this, it is common that people do not know how to react or if what they experience as a result of the problem in question or what they experienced at the time is normal. You may even feel that this is reprehensible and blame yourself for, for example, not being able to trust certain people or even going outside.
- The support group means being able to share aspects of one’s own life that are not usually expressed before other subjects or are not easily understood by someone who has not gone through their own experience despite the fact that said someone intends to offer help. The individual will be able to feel understood more easily in front of people with the same problem.
- Through support groups, the people who participate in them can learn new ways of coping with their difficulties, being able to generate new coping strategies both by learning them from others and by developing them together.