Support groups

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Distinguished member
Mar 13, 2006
Hello all!

My sister and her husband have been going to this support group. It sounds like there are about 30 couples in the group and part of the session is everyone together and then they break apart so that the PALS are in one room and the caregivers in another. Are all support groups this big? She's finding it difficult to connect and therefore open up with so many people there. Have you guys joined a face-to-face support group other than this online one? If so, how is it run and are you finding that it helps?

No they aren't all that big. We were a group of 6 patients in a city of 300,000. While it would be nice to have more especially at Walk time I wouldn't wish this on anyone. If your sister and her husband want to do things a little different there is nothing stopping them from doing their own group and asking some of the others from the group that might like a different agenda to come along.
The support froup I've started attending is about 15-20 people including PALS and CALS. I think this is a good number- not so small that you feel like there's a spotlight on you, but not so big as to feel dwarfed and overwhelmed.
I too Dave think that smaller groups are better. If you get too many you don't really get a chance to sit with someone and say " How are you really doing?" There is a lot of emphasis in a lot of communities to create one big group as they say ,safety in numbers. I think the personal touch is more effective. I feel more comfortable talking with 6 to 12 people that I can become friends with than taking it to the extreme and saying at a meeting with 30 to 50 people. Hi My name is Al and I have ALS. Here is my story. Just doesn't work for me. Some like that format but I'm not too fussy on it. Some might call me a fussy bugg_r but what the heck when you get to 56 you're entitled to be a bit eccentric. As Dennis Miller would say . I could be wrong but that's my opinion.
... on the other hand I was in a very small CALS group (5 of 6 people)that seemed to have a few guys who were more jaded and negative than me... and they spread their doom and gloom message. As the meetings progressed it was easier just to agree with them rather than express my own opinions... so I quite going. It was informative but counter productive to my outlook! It's good to have enough people to improve the debate!

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