At Wildflower, we recognize that the idea of attending a support group can feel overwhelming and intimidating. We also recognize the many benefits that a supportive environment can provide while you are navigating the various stressors and experiences that life brings up. As a practice, Wildflower prioritizes creating these spaces for our clients. Below we demystify the benefits of participating in a support group.
1. Shared Experience
Knowing that others are out there experiencing similar things can help us feel better in general – sharing a sense of common humanity with others often enables us to give ourselves grace and compassion for our own humanness. When we are more isolated and misunderstood in our experiences, it makes it really hard not to think “I must be the only one who thinks and feels this way/is going through this.”
2. Expressing Yourself
It can be really difficult at times to find spaces that feel safe and open enough to share our inner thoughts and feelings – this again leads us to feeling isolated, misunderstood, and “broken.” Having a safe space to talk about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences helps you work through them.
3. Building Meaningful Connections
Finding meaningful connections, at any age or stage of life, can and is a challenging process. One of the greatest benefits of attending a support group is connecting with others with similar experiences. Knowing that others can understand what we are going through (and are also going through it!) is one of the many ways we can start to change the way we talk to ourselves about our struggles.
4. Learning New Skills
Another benefit of attending a support group is the opportunity to learn new ways to deal with problems by hearing additional perspectives on our experiences. We can learn from others about how they’ve dealt with similar situations and acquire new tools to problem-solve our challenges more effectively.
5. Learning About Yourself
When we open ourselves up to sharing our inner worlds, we also start to notice patterns and identify things that we may not have ever seen before. This can be a rewarding yet overwhelming process, and having the support of others is incredibly helpful as we navigate our relationship with ourselves.
6. Helping Others
Most people tap into appreciation and gratitude when they help others in need. Participating in a support group has the benefit of both receiving support, and also being able to support others as they navigate similar situations. Having relationships in which we both receive and provide emotional support solidifies a deeper sense of connection with others.
7. Cost Effectiveness
Most support groups are more affordable than therapy groups or even individual therapy. While we might recommend more than one support system for you, attending a support group is one of the more cost-effective ways to enhance your mental health.
8. Reaching Your Goals
Support and accountability are essential in order to sustain our motivation and progress. Support groups enhance both in that folks are receiving support in their experiences while also discussing ways to keep moving forward toward their identified paths. Support groups are also a place to receive and provide guidance for others who feel lost, confused, and alone.