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What to Expect When You Attend a Support Group

Our aim is to give everyone an opportunity to share their feelings, offer comfort and support or to simply listen and observe.

Whatever is heard during the group meetings must remain with the group. Confidentiality is essential if members are to feel safe in sharing.

We must keep in mind that time is limited and we may have to move on so as not to exclude anyone who has a need to share.

If anyone finds it difficult to share with the group, and is experiencing a stressful time, we encourage them to speak to us after the meeting or arrange an individual appointment with a family support worker.

It is helpful, if a new member is present, for each of the group to introduce themself, identify their relationship with the person who has the illness and the nature of the illness.

Group members can expect others to:

  • be aware of the needs of others
  • allow others to share without unnecessary interruption
  • not speak with another person while someone is sharing
  • respect the rights of others to share only as much as is within their comfort zone
  • help explore alternative ways of coping
  • offer guidelines without giving advice
  • accept that if others' coping methods differ from our own, whatever works is okay

Remember it is important that we share the good times as well as the not so good.

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