Support groups are organizations of people who share a common disorder, like depression or anxiety, and who meet together to discuss their experiences, share ideas, and provide emotional support for one another. Usually a support group is led by a member who has had some training in facilitating group discussions and if you lucky formal training as a Psychologist. For some types of problems, such as bereavement after the death of a loved one, or coping with a chronic medical condition like cancer, hospitals or community agencies often provide support groups led by a social worker or other counselor. Are you part of a formal or informal support group?
Probably the biggest advantage of support groups is helping a patient realize that he or she is not alone — that there are other people who have the same problems. This is often a revelation and a huge relief to the person.
Being part of support groups can also help you develop new skills to relate to others. In addition, the members of the group who have the same problems can support each other and may suggest new ways of dealing with a particular problem.