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Cancer Support Groups

Restore a sense of control to reduce isolation, anxiety, depression, and facilitate better coping skills.


Groups for people with chronic cancer commonly have psychoeducational and supportive therapeutic goals that help participants learn about themselves in relation to their cancer and provide a trusting environment to discuss difficulties with others who are experiencing similar life situations. As most group facilitators are aware, no two groups or sessions are the same. The facilitator must be prepared for anything to happen and to be flexible. Problems occur in everyday life and can be brought into the group. Although facilitators cannot control what is presented in the group or the responses of the participants, they do control their own responses.

Why support groups work


People with chronic cancer can benefit from emotional support and information. Group work provides a corrective process by creating an opportunity for people to talk about their experiences with cancer, to gain information, and to exchange thoughts and feelings with others who have a shared experience. With mutual help and the sense of universality, the underlying influences, a sense of connection, identification, and clarity can emerge among the members. Restoring a sense of control can lead to less isolation, anxiety, depression, and facilitate better coping skills.

How support groups work


The group provides support and practical ideas to improve the physical, psychological and emotional effects of the cancer diagnosis and its treatment. Through the open expression of positive and negative emotions and the safety created by mutual respect and aid, insight, behavioural alterations, and a sense of cohesiveness can emerge.