How to establish a support group
You can contact me for information on starting your own group. If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call, at 925-934-5972 – and I do answer my own phone!
Anyone looking to start a support group can look over the the guideline suggestions to the right, and read more below.
A support group is particularly validating to anyone who has heard a lot of denial and minimizing of their experience of abuse. Shared experiences and responses serve as “reality checks.” This is very healing.A women’s or men’s support group works best. Since most people in couple relationships who experience abuse, experience it from the opposite gender, keeping groups to one gender is important. If, for instance, a woman has been verbally abused by a man she may not feel safe in a group that includes men. This is a very common outcome of abuse.
Anyone can experience a verbally abusive relationship. Members of a women’s group may include “celebrities, millionaires, poor women, public figures, sophisticated younger women, sophisticated older women, naive trusting women, loving women, careful women, smart women, brilliant women, down-to-earth women and most of all to women who can hardly imagine it happening to them.” VERBAL ABUSE SURVIVORS SPEAK OUT (1993) Patricia Evans pg.222. Publisher: Adams Media Corporation.
General Guidelines for Running a Support Group
* Meet weekly
* Facilitate the group or choose a facilitator who makes sure everyone has a chance to talk.
* Share your experiences giving about 5-10 minutes to each person who wants to talk.
* Allow a few minutes of cross-talk, shared experiences.
* Don’t give advice unless it is asked for.
* Don’t judge anyone. Everyone is at a different stage.
* Topics for Discussion can include:
• A chapter or page of THE VERBALLY ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP or VERBAL ABUSE SURVIVORS SPEAK OUT.
• Problem solving for a particular member.
• Goal setting: Encourage members to set goals and to share them and their progress at subsequent meeting.