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in Alexandria, VA

What about support groups?

I am a strong believer in self-help groups. Isolation is the number one result of any psychological difficulty, and self-help groups hit squarely at this. In a group you can find fellowship with people with difficulties similar to your own. There will be others who have experienced what you do. There will also be practical wisdom, suggestions, and ideas.
Having said this, however, I also acknowledge that not every support group is a good one. When looking for a support group, look for one with some of the following characteristics:


  • Members have a positive attitude
  • People are supportive, but genuinely respectful of your need to make your own decisions
  • Advice is not offered freely, unless it comes from an organization associated with the issue (e.g., CHAAD - Children and Adults with Attention Deficit)

If you are the type of individual who gets caught up in trying to meet others' needs rather than your own, then be especially careful not to let this happen in a support group. Keep your own needs foremost in your mind and do not let yourself sacrifice them for someone else in the group. If everyone looks after themselves first there will be fewer needs to be met overall.