Purpose? | Locations & Meeting Dates | Questions & Answers | Feedback
Purpose of a support group?
A support group allows people to express their feelings and provides a forum for discussion in a safe and confidential environment, amongst peers. Groups are guided by facilitators who assist in directing discussions and can provide insight and understanding in regard to issues raised.
- An ADAVIC group IS a place for community discussion, support and sharing of ideas.
- An ADAVIC group IS NOT a place for therapy or crisis intervention.
Rules & Aims of ADAVIC Support Groups (please download)
What Happens at a Support Group?
- By Eva Savov (former Support Group Facilitator)
A support group meeting is a safe forum for discussion to assist people on their path of recovery. As a facilitator of support group meetings I have seen many people come and go. Many have benefited immensely by attending support group meetings and others have mis-perceptions about support group meetings.
A support group meeting is designed for people who suffer from an anxiety disorder and for the carers. They are discussion groups, by no means just a social gathering or a therapeutic group. Many people who suffer from an anxiety disorder feel that they are alone and no one understands their dread and fear. At a support group meeting they realise they are not alone and many share a common goal, to learn strategies on how to overcome this dread and fear. Within a support group we do not prescribe or diagnose, we suggest. It's a forum where people can get information about anxiety disorders, different therapies, workshops, professionals who specialise in anxiety disorders, but most of all a safe and confidential discussion group where people can share their stories and experiences. Support group meetings are also designed for the carers, to give the them a better understanding of what their loved one is going through.
The facilitators are not professionals; most of them are either psychology students or people who have recovered from an anxiety disorder. I fall into the latter category. Being a facilitator is one of the most rewarding things in my life. It gives me an opportunity to share my experience and to encourage others that they can overcome this dread and fear. After all I did. However it saddens me when I see people becoming stagnant and starting to view the support group meetings as their salvation, social gathering, therapy session or a place where they become opinionated about how a support group should be.
Within a support group meeting you will discover that everyone is at a different level of their recovery. Also many have inspiring stories to tell about their journey and their trials and tribulations and this is what a support group is about: for people to encourage and support each other and for the facilitators to guide the discussions and provide information. As I said earlier, more people have benefited from a support group meeting because they utilised what a support group has to offer. It makes me proud to be a facilitator when I see many of them return just to share how well they are managing their anxiety, how insightful the book we suggested was or how helpful the professional we recommended was.
Each of you will have a different story to tell and most of you will want some reassurance and this is why we are here, to hear your story and to encourage you.
Questions & Answers
Do I have to book to attend the group?
No. Bookings are not necessary; just turn up on the night.
There is no ongoing
commitment required - you are welcome to visit once, occasionally, or every week
- what ever suits you!
NOTE: No groups run on Public Holidays.
How much does it cost to attend a group?
There is a small fee to help cover room hire. The cost (payable
on the night) is:
Is everything I say confidential?
Yes! Confidentiality is an issue we take very seriously at
ADAVIC. We realise there are many people who may only feel safe about discussing
these sensitive and very personal issues if they are in a confidential
environment. Things that get discussed in group stay in group!
Do I have to talk at the meeting?
No. There is no obligation to take part in the discussion. You
are very welcome to just sit and listen. We find that people are more
comfortable when they are not forced to talk - and are more willing to talk when
the decision is up to them.
What types of things get discussed at a support group?
There are no set topics at an ADAVIC Support Group. The groups
are informal in structure, but in a typical meeting, discussion may focus on a
wide-range of topics such as:
- how these experiences can affect one's life
- comparing strategies and coping skills
- comparing symptoms
- opinions on medication
- requesting help with frustrations and "roadblocks" on the path
- the stigma of mental health issues
Rules & Aims of ADAVIC Support Groups (please download)
Is it a therapy group?
No. The groups aim to provide a comfortable place to talk about
and listen to the issues and problems that people are facing. Whilst the groups
may be therapeutically beneficial, the purpose is not to provide counselling
support. We do try to focus on finding positives in situations and helping one
another to manage and overcome problems. However, there is no
pressure to 'change', and no one will force particular techniques or treatments
Who runs the support group?
Groups are run by facilitators. Many have had their own
personal experiences with anxiety, depression and related disorders. Others are
in-training psychologists or counsellors.
Can I bring my partner, carer, friend?
Yes! You are most welcome to bring support along with you. Often
it is beneficial for partners, carers and friends to come and listen to the
experiences of others, as it can help to gain insight and understanding of the
Who attends the Support Groups?
The groups are adult-oriented. All ages from 18 years and up -
both male and female - are welcomed. The groups cater to both sufferers and
Please note: the groups are not intended for individuals
who need intensive psychological or psychiatric support!
The groups are focused towards supporting people that suffer
This condition is
characterized by chronic anxiety. You are dealing with a large number of
worries, and find it difficult to exercise much control over these worries.
A panic attack is a sudden
episode of intense fear that can occur 'out of the blue' or in response to being
in certain situations.
Where you are afraid of being in
a situation that may cause a panic attack.
Where you constantly fear
situations in which you feel you are exposed to the scrutiny of others.
Many people may become depressed
as a secondary reaction to their anxiety. This is an understandable response to
what can seem like an overwhelming situation.
The groups are also relevant to :
Carers, Family and Relatives:
For some people
it can be stressful living with or caring for a person suffering from
Anxiety-related disorders. Support groups can offer insight and perspective, new
coping strategies, and may allow carers to vent their frustrations to others who
understand the issues and can offer advice.
Locations & Meeting Dates
FeedbackLet us know about your experiences with our Support Groups.
Ways you can provide feedback:
- Did you find the group beneficial?
- Were there things you didn't like?
- What would you change?
- Any complaints?
> Complete an anonymous Online Survey click here> Feedback Forms are available at each Support Group venue (or download this form and mail to ADAVIC )
> Speak to a Facilitator after the meeting to discuss your feedback directly
> Provide your feedback to the ADAVIC office