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The Ultimate Guide to Support Groups in Austin

Key Takeaways:

  • Many people prefer group therapy to individual therapy, or want to supplement their treatment with it.
  • Often called a support group, group therapy brings together people facing similar mental health struggles so they can relate to one another.
  • There are hundreds of support groups in Austin, so we’ve developed a guide to help you pick the right one.

Everyone's healing journey is different.

For some, individual therapy is the only place they feel safe enough to be vulnerable.

For others, relating to others who are in similar situations is a crucial part of the process.

For many, a combination of the two represents their best chance at feeling better.

A support group is a form of group therapy that collects individuals in similar situations or who have similar conditions, and, through guided discussion with a licensed therapist, gives them a chance to relate to and learn from one another.

There are dozens of support groups in Austin, and finding the right one for you can be tough.

Let's discuss Austin support groups for all topics, conditions, and struggles.

Austin Support Groups Resources on This Page:

What's the point of a support group?

Can anyone join a support group?

What kinds of support groups are there?

How To Join a Support Group

Support Groups in Austin: Williamsburg Therapy Group

What's the point of a support group?

Support groups, and indeed, group therapy in general, exist as an alternative or supplement to individual therapy.

Unlike individual therapy, in which patients speak one-on-one with a licensed therapist, support groups bring patients together in a circle, with a licensed therapist among them guiding the conversation.

Many patients find that this is far more effective than only speaking with a therapist one-on-one.

Therapists are trained in evidence-based techniques to provide real, measurable improvement in distress. But for some patients, nothing helps more than relating to others who understand their situation.

Support groups exist to remind you that you are not alone, and to help you learn from, and indeed teach, others in your situation.

Definition Template (2)

Can anyone join a support group?

Yes, for the most part.

Most support groups are very accepting of new members, no matter how severe, or indeed how mild, their symptoms, condition, or concern is.

Someone who is concerned about their alcohol consumption will almost certainly be allowed to join a substance abuse support group, regardless of whether or not they have been to treatment or therapy for it.

Of course, there are exceptions to this, and certain points at which an inquirer may not be allowed into a group.

For example, if you try to join a substance abuse support group and make it plain you are there to convince recovering alcoholics to drink again - though we're not sure why someone would do that - you will certainly not be allowed to attend.

On the other side of the spectrum, if you try to join a depression support group when in active suicidal crisis, you will likely be referred to emergency services and invited to come back after the crisis has passed.

But by and large, so long as you are respectful and mean to participate in a healthy way, you have nothing to worry about.

What kinds of support groups are there?

There are support groups for virtually any kind of situation or condition you can think of:

  • Pregnancy
  • New parents
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Social anxiety
  • Substance abuse

No matter your particular concern, there is likely a support group for you right here in Austin.

What To Expect in Your Support Group

The exact format, tone, and discussion of your chosen support group depend on what the support group is for.

In general, however, you can expect to listen to the therapist's recommendations and stories from fellow group members. The therapist will oftne give insight in regards to someone's specific story or concern, and allow others to give their take as well.

Expect to be encouraged - but not forced - to tell your own story or mention your own feelings.

How To Join a Support Group

Many times, people find support groups by referral. That is, someone they trust - a doctor, therapist, or friend - shows them a support group that may interest them.

Others, however, have to find support themselves. Here's a quick guide on how to find the right support group for you in Austin.

Step #1: Search Online

A quick search online will give you several options for support groups in Austin. That's the easy part. The hard part is actually picking one.

Step #2: Narrow Down

It can be overwhelming to try and pick a group from your many choices. The key is to have a process:

  • Start by eliminating any groups that are not specific to your condition or concern. For example, if you are struggling with a divorce, a group about general grief and loss may not be ideal. Filter out everything that's not specifically divorce related.
  • Next, eliminate anything not led by a licensed therapist. So long as a group is led by a licensed professional counselor (LPC) or Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), or other Masters-level therapist, it's fair game. If you want to take i a step further and get the best possible quality of care, a group led by a licensed psychologist is your best bet.
  • Finally, eliminate by location. Simply choose the closest support group (or even an online one) that fits the parameters above.

There are exceptions to these rules - for example, if you see a support group that is a bit further away but you feel more community with the type of person who attends, then you should go to that one.

In the end, the ultimate goal is to find a support group that you can trust and be honest with.

Step #3: Inquire

The last step is gaining access to the support group itself. Usually, listings for support groups will have a phone number or email you can contact to ask for admission.

Some support groups are run through therapy groups or practices, so you can also give them a call to connect.

If the group is full, no worries. Just eliminate that choice and repeat the steps above!

If all else fails, reach out to a therapy practice and ask about starting a group. While everyone's pain is unique, no mental health concern is. Chances are, several hundred people in your city are going through at least a similar mental health concern as you are. Therapy practices may be interested in collecting patients together to start a group.

Support Groups in Austin: Williamsburg Therapy Group

At Williamsburg Therapy Group, we offer group therapy to members of the Austin community. Led by a licensed psychologist, our support groups are inclusive and use evidence-based therapeutic techniques to make progress.

Give us a call to connect with a support group near you.

Book a Therapy Session in Austin Today

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