Self-help in the health sector
Have you ever wondered
about that? The doctor says goodbye to your doctor
and gives you the address of a self-help group.
Other people get the tip from a friend to discuss
the problem in a group of like-minded people -
self-help groups. But maybe you have a strange
feeling when you think about going into a group
where "only" people talk about your illness.
Then it's a good thing that you called here, because today you'll find out about the goals, limits and risks of self-help groups.
First of all, a
self-help group is made up of people who are
struggling with the same problems and who have
made similar experiences over time. In the case of
a doctor or hospital, medical care for a patient
usually focuses almost exclusively on physical
suffering. Due to a lack of time alone, the doctor
can rarely give help that is directed to the
psyche and the social situation of the patient.
This is where the self-help groups step in.
Your rules are always
There is no leader in the group; all members are equal.
There is also no "spectator", because every member of the community is affected by it, seeks help and helps the other members.
The matters discussed
are subject to external secrecy.
voluntary and free of charge.
Such agreed rules create the feeling of security and also of belonging together. Because if someone wants to present his problem in a self group, he doesn't have to explain it for a long time. Rather, everyone is aware of the hopes and fears that can arise during the course of particularly protracted illnesses. Through the exchange with other people affected, the feeling of loneliness and isolation is also alleviated. In the group, different solutions are put together and you can then find your own solution. Of course, medical knowledge about new therapies, drugs and research results is also discussed. Not infrequently, a self-help group helps to create a completely new self-conception and strength.
advantages, it can sometimes happen that you feel
burdened in a self-help group. Because with
certain tasks, self-help groups can simply be
overtaxed. Thus, you should not expect
professional care such as that provided by a
therapist for mental illnesses. Also, the
advantage of the self-help groups, i. e.
exchanging experiences, can also have negative
effects on some problems. For example, if someone
wants to deal with a trauma and is also
permanently confronted with other traumas.
Self-help groups have been proven to be very useful in the areas of addiction and chronic illnesses. But here too, the rule is that the medical experts should still be the doctors, not the other group members.
Where there is light,
there is also shadow. Unfortunately, this also
applies to self-help groups. They can be abused,
as the following examples show.
People who are active in the medical field or who want to become active above all else, call a self-help group into being in their area, solely to win customers or patients and to arrange appointments in the so-called self-help group.
professionals also join a self-help group and do
not identify themselves. They intend to address
those affected personally and then refer them to
Companies make financial offers to self-help groups, provided that only in the group certain therapies are discussed intensively.
Members of the sects
sneak in and try to entice off those affected by
However, you should not deter the "dangers" now, but only make them sensitive. Because we - the LZG - are convinced that self-help groups are helpful.
Found a self-help group
Around three million people in Germany are involved in about 100,000 self-help groups. Nevertheless, it is possible that "your" group does not yet exist and you have to start it first. How does that work?
Copyright: Landeszentrale fuer Gesundheitsfoerderung in Rheinland-Pfalz e.V. (LZG) Germany