You probably have a friend or family member who struggled with addiction and went to a support group. Going to a group helped them overcome their addiction and change their entire life. So, you decided to go to a support group yourself.

Although you found a group and went to it for several weeks, you never built any real relationships with anyone in the group. You felt the leader wasn’t accepting of you, and the only thing anyone seemed to do in your group was complain.

Sound familiar? A support group should be a safe place—a place where you will connect and learn from others. However, not every group will be a good fit for you. Here are some signs you’re in the right group.

7 Signs Your Group is a Good Fit

  1. You Share Similarities.
    Find a support group with people who are going through, or have gone through, similar struggles. For example, you might have similar experiences such as grief, divorce, codependency, drug or alcohol addiction, caregiving, or any number of issues.
  2. You Are Welcomed.
    When you go to a support group, someone should be there to greet you and make you feel welcomed. There might be casual talking for a few minutes over coffee or even food. You may feel a bit anxious and that is normal for the first time, but in time it should become a comfortable place to grow and learn and connect.
  3. You Feel Safe.
    A support group should be a safe place where you feel comfortable enough to share your feelings. A good support group has guidelines that everyone abides by and the leader also upholds.
  4. You Can Trust.
    Confidentiality is of high value in support groups. It should be maintained and practiced by everyone in the group. This will allow for greater depth of sharing and will also provide a place where you can share without restraint.
  5. You Can Talk.
    A support group that is a good fit for you will provide a judgment-free zone where you can talk freely about your issues. The group leader helps move the discussion along when there is a dominant member and creates safety for those who may feel apprehensive about sharing.
  6. You Are Growing.
    Ultimately, your group should be a place where people are consistently growing—not a place where people are consistently complaining. You will build relationships and learn healthy ways to cope with life. When you are in a group that is a good fit for you, you will be able to share your experiences and gain valuable skills along the way.
  7. You Get Support.
    Groups are essential to building a support system. Not only will you learn how to deal with your struggles, but you have a support system in place who you can call and connect with and not isolate.

Finding a support group will take time and effort. Give a group time, maybe attend 3 times and talk with the leader about what you are looking for in a group. Be open to groups that might not feel ‘perfect’ at first, but provide connection, learning and a safe place for you to grow and connect. If you need help finding a Life Recovery group, call New Life Ministries at 800-NEW-LIFE.