Suggestions for Choosing A Support Group
Format ~ Look for a support group that follows a format you are comfortable with. Do you like message boards? There
are plenty out there you can join. Prefer email or chat? There are groups which follow these formats as well.
Size ~ The size of a support group can affect how comfortable you feel with it. Some have 10 members, others have
1000. Larger groups provide quick response and lots of perspective; small groups provide intimate support and friendships.
It is up to you to decide what size of support group you will feel most comfortable with. Keep your needs in mind.
Guidelines ~ Make sure the group you join has moderators and very particular guidelines. You want a team of
moderators who are gentle but firm with their members. You need rules in place for your protection, and the protection of
Triggering Material ~ Pay attention to how triggering material is posted. There's no guarantee you won't ever be
triggered by a post, but it's important to make sure that the members are careful to mark triggering material with a T or
TW and that it maybe requires you to scroll so that you have time to escape. Pay attention to how the moderators handle
very sensitive material that is not trigger marked. Do they edit trigger warnings and such into triggering posts & gently
remind/warn the member to be more careful, or do they let things run chaotic with a minefield of triggering material that
is not marked? Keep that question in mind.
Special Needs Groups ~ You may want to search out a group that specifically assists those with needs you have.
While abuse survivors have very universal issues, there may be some needs and concerns you have that may benefit from an
appropriate group. Maybe you need a group that addresses something such as father-daughter incest, GLBT issues, rape in a
domestic violence setting, etc. The good thing about abuse survivors coming out of the dark is that if you have specific
needs you need to address, there are all kinds of support groups and websites nowadays out there to address those
Level of Activity ~ Another thing to consider is what a group's requirements are for activity. If you don't want to
be pressured into posting or talking about issues, you may want to find a group that has little or no requirements in that
area. On the other hand, maybe you feel you could use a little nudge from other members when you are really low, to post
and discuss what is bothering you. The group I used to help moderate required a monthly check in to remain in the group,
and once a week the members were emailed with a mood scale that they were encouraged to reply to and let the others know
where they were mentally, emotionally, and physically at that time, and to talk about it if they could.
These suggestions are what comes to mind off hand. If you can think of any other area I should address,
please email me.
As Waters Passing By > Support Group Info > Support Group Suggestions