I’d like to connect with other anxiety sufferers as a form of ‘support group’ so that we can all help each other recover. Based on your experience, do you think that could be a good idea?
Sharing your experiences with others in a ‘support group’ environment can be helpful as long as someone in the group has overcome anxiety disorder the correct way (has experience in personal recovery including both levels of recovery and not just Level One recovery).
For example, being a part of a group that has a professionally trained and experienced anxiety disorder therapist that leads the group can be invaluable. Unfortunately, these types of groups are hard to find, as most support groups are led by less experienced people.
Groups led by less experienced people can do more harm than good. Since anxiety disorder is predicated on fear and anxiousness, having a less experienced leader can cause more problems than she solves.
If you can find a support group led by an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, by all means participate. An important part of recovery can be having good supports as you work your way through the recovery process. But as I mentioned, these types of groups are hard to find.
Another approach is to, first, connect with an experienced anxiety disorder coach/therapist, and then, find a ‘recovery buddy’ (a person who is at the same place in his recovery and who is also working with an experienced anxiety coach/therapist). This way, you can compare notes and support each other as you work toward making healthy behavioral change.
Oftentimes, our family units and/or friends aren’t healthy enough behaviorally to find good supports there either. Yet, having healthy supports is important on the road to lasting recovery. Working with a coach/therapist can provide help, support, and direction, and a ‘recovery buddy’ can encourage and support you along the way.
Based on the above, I don’t recommend being a part of a support group that doesn’t have a qualified leader. I’ve seen too many negative experiences when sufferers try to help fellow sufferers.
On the other hand, I’ve seen great success when the group is led by a qualified and experienced leader, and those who connect with a ‘recovery buddy’ when both are working with an experienced coach/therapist.
I also want to note that there are many people who claim to be able to help with anxiety. But few have the depth of knowledge to provide good and lasting help. It’s always best to work with people who truly understand anxiety at its deepest levels. Anything short of that can be problematic for long-term success.
NOTE: Recovery Support members can participate in our free SKYPE Live Call-In discussions. These discussions are held virtually via SKYPE online so that any member can participate no matter where they live in the world. If you are looking for support as you work your way to lasting recovery, this group may be exactly what you are looking for. It is lead by Jim Folk, president of anxietycentre.com.
To participate, you need only become a member of our Recovery Support area and register your Skype address via the link on the Recovery Support area home page. You can read the 'SKYPE LIVE Call-In' section on the member's home page for more information.
The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder coach, counselor, or therapist is the most effective way to address anxiety disorder and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - the underlying factors that motivate apprehensive behavior - a struggle with anxiety disorder can return again and again. Identifying and successfully addressing anxiety's underlying factors is the best way to overcome problematic anxiety.
For more information about our Anxiety Counseling option; our Available Anxiety Therapists; to Book An Appointment with one of our anxiety therapists; common Anxiety Signs and Symptoms; common Anxiety Attack Symptoms; the symptoms of panic attack disorder; anxiety Recovery Support area; information about Anxiety; and our Anxiety 101 section; or click on the appropriate link or graphic below:
Return to our Anxiety Frequent Questions page.
Authors: Jim Folk, Marilyn Folk, BScN. Last updated November 20, 2018.