People use support groups for all types of things. If you google “support groups in Denver” a list will come up of all kinds of different support groups, geared towards your gender, age, or a particular topic. There are support groups run by peers, those run by professionals (usually counselors, therapists, or the like), and those run by agencies. Some are free, some cost money, some are donation-based. Support groups can be drop-in, meaning that you come when you can, or they can be closed groups, meaning that you sign up for a certain number of sessions and for the group duration. Support groups are popping up all over the place, especially online. But the question is: Are Support Groups Effective?
What Is a Support Group?
A support group is typically a group of like-minded people coming together to talk about, process, and support one another about a particular topic or subject. One definition of a support group is: “a group of people with common experiences or concerns who provide each other with encouragement, comfort, and advice” (Oxford Languages). The key words in this definition are common experiences or concerns. There are support groups for women, for gay teenagers, and for divorcees. Support groups can be smaller or quite large, depending on the format of the group, and their effectiveness comes from the group members who attend and participate in the group.
Support Groups in Denver
There are also many support groups in the Denver area that focus on mental wellness or addiction related challenges. Anxiety, depression, and divorce groups abound. You will see community mental health centers offer these types of support groups, along with counselors and therapists in private practice. When you decide to search for and engage in a support group, start out with listing your criteria of what you want in a group first. Do you want it to be peer-run, or facilitated by a professional with experience in the topic area? Do you want to see the same people at every group, or are you ok with a variety of different people attending each session? Do you just want to observe and learn, or do you get more from it when you’re a willing participant?
Are Support Groups Effective?
If run well, by an experienced and trained group facilitator, support groups can be highly effective. One of the most powerful things about groups is that you don’t feel so alone in your struggles. Learning and knowing that others understand and maybe even have gone through before what you’re going through now makes you feel just a bit better about everything. Groups harness the power of the collective; you’re learning not just from one person, but from everyone else in the group in addition to the group facilitator. Some of the benefits of being in a support group include feeling less lonely or judged, reducing your distress, learning better communication skills, and getting support when you don’t have a great support system on your own.
If you’re wondering what a support group looks like, check out our blog What is Group Therapy Like for You? I’ve had many clients tell me that support groups are just what they need at this time, and that they learn so much from other group members. Mainly, support groups help you feel less alone and more connected to others who are sharing similar struggles. When support groups are run well, there is no question of the benefits of the group.
Hopefully by now you’re starting to wonder if a particular type of support group might be for you. Catalyss Counseling offers several options for support groups, including our Online Women’s Support Group, Online Men’s Support Group, and Online COVID Long Haulers Therapy Group. As professional counselors and therapists, we know the value and benefit of support groups and group therapy, and we want to share those benefits with you. If you’re interested in more information about our support groups, you can contact us for a free 20-minute phone consultation. Good luck in your support group search!
How We Can Help
We are currently enrolling for our support groups for both men and women!
For professional men who are ready to go from feeling alone in your struggles to understanding how to make healthy changes in your life and getting accountability for your actions.
For busy women who are ready to go from overwhelmed and exhausted to thriving and feeling connected, without ever leaving your home.
If you are looking for general support, or if you would like to talk to someone more about how we can help you, follow these simple steps:
Contact us today for a free 20-minute phone consultation
Begin your journey towards a calmer, more relaxed life
Other Therapy Services Available at Catalyss Counseling:
Here at Catalyss Counseling, we want to meet all of your counseling needs in the Denver area. Our supportive therapists provide depression counseling, therapy for caregiver stress, grief and loss therapy, stress management counseling and more. We also have specialists in trauma and PTSD, women's issues, pregnancy and postpartum depression or anxiety, pregnancy loss and miscarriage, and birth trauma. For therapists, we can also provide clinical supervision! We look forward to connecting with you to help support your journey today.
Shannon Heers is a psychotherapist, clinical supervisor, guest blogger, and owner of Catalyss Counseling in Englewood, CO. Shannon helps adults in professional careers manage anxiety, depression, work-life balance, and grief and loss. Follow Catalyss Counseling on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.