How do you feel about support groups that are centered around a specific illness or health problem? I run a support group for people with chronic illnesses which hasn’t been meeting for a few months due to my being too sick to take charge of things.
I’ll be starting it up again in September and I’m looking for ideas to keep the group positive. I don’t want it to be a pity part but a group where we can find solutions to our problems or at least feel heard and understood. What ends up happening sometimes though is that we have several very lonely people in the group who don’t get out much. The group is their time to socialize which is fine, but it’s also their time to complain.
I can sympathize but I can’t let them control the group and have other people just listening. I’m not good at getting the conversation turned around to another topic. So we usually end up listening and I end up getting worried that the other members are getting annoyed. Our meetings go on too long also because of this. This is difficult for me as I’m there early to set up and then have to stay to clean up. I’m exhausted on meeting days.
Any advice or suggestions? If you are a member of a support group or run one, please let me know some of your ideas.