Self-Help Group Essay

1049 Words Dec 1st, 2005 5 Pages
People grow in interaction with many systems, such as school systems, neighborhood systems, and extended family systems. These systems offer a needed source of social support. Social support systems are continuing social aggregates that provide individuals with opportunities for feedback about themselves and for validations for their expectations about others, which may offset deficiencies in these communications within the larger community context (Ashford, Lecroy, & Lortie, 2001). Social support systems can be classified into five different types: self-help groups, social networks, natural helpers, formal organizations, and formed groups. Self-help groups are different from the other groups because they control their own resources and …show more content…
In a sense it provides a mechanism to focus one's energy.
In this experiential exercise, I decided to attend an Overeaters anonymous (OA) self-help group meeting, which is a fellowship of individuals who, through shared experience, strength, and hope, are recovering from compulsive overeating. Their primary purpose is to abstain from compulsive overeating and to carry this message of recovery to those who suffer. There are no dues or fees for members; they are self-supporting through members' contributions. OA is not affiliated with any public or private organization, political movement, ideology or religious doctrine. The Twelve Steps are the heart of the OA recovery program; it originated in Alcoholics Anonymous. These steps offer members a new way of life enabling a compulsive overeater to live without the need for excess food.
The meeting was held in a large room in a church, with the 16 members facing the group facilitator (who was a non-professional who was struggling with similar issues as members of the group). The membership of the group was varied, both in its makeup and in the eating behaviors and experiences which brought them there. The meeting was somewhat formally organized, using a basic structure and philosophy as a model the meeting was called to order by the leader, and she preceded with the serenity prayer which followed by a formal statement of the group's purpose. There was then an introduction of Members in which

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