Mutual Help Groups: What Are They and What Makes Them Work?

Phyllis R. Silverman

in The Oxford Handbook of Group Counseling

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195394450
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Mutual Help Groups: What Are They and What Makes Them Work?

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  • Counselling Psychology



Why do people find it so helpful to meet others who have similar problems or life-changing experiences? Why does finding others like ourselves give us a sense of hope, a sense of being understood, and often a direction to a solution to our problem? Coming together in this way often takes place is what we call “mutual help groups.” This chapter offers some understanding of how these groups come about, what they do for those who participate, and the kind of settings in which they take place. There is a related question that needs to be answered: Are there other aspects of the experience and the setting in which this kind of encounter takes place that matter? What seems to matter a good deal is who controls the program and the resources of these encounters.

Keywords: group counseling; mutual help; group settings; group benefits

Article.  7158 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Counselling Psychology

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