New Feature: Groups

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lux.

Confident
I think a DBT group would be great. Standard DBT programs are very intense and rigorous skills-based programs featuring both group and individual therapy. You have weekly homework, you fill out a daily diary card, and you are expected to use the skills you learn every day.

I think if we could find other members who are in or have been in DBT programs like this, or even who just do DBT therapy outside of a standard program, it could be really beneficial to all involved. We could talk about how we used skills and how it worked for us, ask questions and help one another understand things, talk about what the experience is like to be in DBT and use DBT skills overall, etc.

The question is, I don't know who on this site does DBT, so how are group members identified and invited? Do you just put a link to it on the groups page and hope people see it and join?
 

joeylittle

Administrator
The question is, I don't know who on this site does DBT, so how are group members identified and invited? Do you just put a link to it on the groups page and hope people see it and join?
Primarily, potential group members should self-identify. Then, they can join directly if the privacy level allows it. If not, they request membership and are accepted into the group that way.

When a group is opened, a thread automatically appears in the Social sub-forum, announcing it. That thread can be used to drum up activity for the group.

We can send invitations to join, when it makes sense to do so. It depends on the type of group being formed and whether or not the proposer of the group knows who some of the likely participants are.

If you were excited about cultivating a DBT group - it's OK that you don't know who would join it. You can rely on members to see it and make that decision for themselves.
 

anthony

Founder
I have made a change to groups, removing discussion and adding a group forum instead, as I'm just not happy with the small, but annoying, issues with the group discussion system vs the integrated and fully compatible forum structure. So all groups will be built with a single forum, not discussion area.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
So all groups will be built with a single forum, not discussion area.
Please be aware, this change makes it now so that non-group members can view both the member list for the group, and the group forum main page of threads. That's as private as the 'semi-private' level gets.

It's actually an improvement for a number of reasons, I just want to make sure that folks are aware of that change.

It's also been updated in the help info on Groups
 

Sweetleaf

MyPTSD Pro
I think a domestic violence group would be great, and a sexual assault group would be great.

A CSA group would be great.

Each has a lot of group-specific problems, hurdles, etc. and it might provide a nice place to discuss certain things, which one might be less reluctant to post about out in the regular forums. I'm thinking about things right now I'd be posting if there were a sexual assault group for sexual assault survivors, which I feel really shameful about and don't want to share so openly and publicly. I guess that applies to the CSA stuff for me too, even the DV.

Another thing I personally think would be cool, since I am pretty much only getting EMDR right now, would be an EMDR group. We can help each other handle the intensity of it, the problems associated with it, the aftermath of sessions, share stories of success where you feel like a million bucks because of finally finishing reprocessing on something. Could help people feel less alone in the whole "omg this is so hard it feels like I'm just making everything worse" aspect of things, and could help people persist through their therapy, or help figure out if their therapist is good or bad.

I know I'm throwing out a lot of group suggestions out at once but, it can't hurt.
 
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digger

Moderator
I'm throwing out a lot of group suggestions out at once but, it can't hurt.
Ideas for new groups can be proposed by following the direction in the help information about groups here
How do I propose a group?

Go to Contact Us, use the thread prefix 'groups', please.

Suggest a name for the group, and answer the following:

Who the group is for (what sub-set of this community can join)

What the group is for (the purpose it serves, the need it meets)

How members can join (whether open, or require approval)

Privacy level, and why.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
Each has a lot of group-specific problems, hurdles, etc. and it might provide a nice place to discuss certain things, which one might be less reluctant to post about out in the regular forums. I'm thinking about things right now I'd be posting if there were a sexual assault group for sexual assault survivors, which I feel really shameful about and don't want to share so openly and publicly. I guess that applies to the CSA stuff for me too, even the DV.
I hear what you are saying. The flip side to this is, making sure that groups don't just gradually become replacements for the trauma-specific forums. It would be more worthwhile to consider what the pros and cons would be of making those areas member-only, instead of fully public.

On a certain level - if one is not comfortable yet discussing something semi-openly, then they're just not ready to discuss it.

Confronting that internal challenge, those voices in our heads that say "don't talk about this, it's too shameful/bad/horrible/embarrassing..." - hearing those internal messages and then overcoming them in order to post - that's a big part of what this site offers to people.

I'm certainly not saying there's not room for groups like that...Only that we already do have trauma-specific areas, and we also have opened up full member access to individual private trauma diaries.

And last but not least, there's no way to fairly evaluate for criteria when it comes to specific trauma. A lot of deciding whether or not a member belongs in a group, rests on the member. They need to self-select, and they also need to have invested enough time in this forum - and posting more than just social content - in order to be given access to a semi-private group.

In other words...were we to have a group specifically for CSA (as an example) - individuals would already needed to have posted about their trauma on the open forums to some degree, otherwise there's no way of knowing whether or not they are sincere, and will be able to operate with little to no moderation. There's a fair amount required for that - enough time spent here to know and understand not only the rules, but also the culture. Without members having/sharing that foundation, a group is meaningless, really.

I'm not sure if I'm being as clear as I could be. It boils down to:
  • Semi-Private groups only work if the members have an established posting history, and in order to make that happen, they will need to have begun talking about their trauma already on the open forums.
  • We have member diaries and private diaries both available, neither of which is search-engined. The member diaries are a very good middle ground for the member who wants some privacy, but also to find some connection.
I think a good group will generally cut across trauma-type divisions, and allow for an additional level of something in common, something that is just a smidge too specific to really find its connected footing across our current sub-forums.

Another thing I personally think would be cool, since I am pretty much only getting EMDR right now, would be an EMDR group.
I thought about this - but I think that it could be accomplished in the Therapy sub-forum as well. No-one's started an EMDR support thread in a long while (I don't believe), and these sorts of long-form threads often work just like a group would - there are a number of folks it applies to, they become regular users of the thread, people flow in and out of it, and those who aren't interested in it really just don't read it.

Thanks for your post, @Sweetleaf. It's helpful to have a little back-and-forth on these things.
 

anthony

Founder
90% of this community is sexual assault based. Most of that is based on domestic violence, being inner family. Linking into, CSA, the majority of our long standing members are CSA.

I'm not sure groups is going to change any of this for these three topics, being our core community discussion. I would envisage such groups merely mimicking trauma diaries, which already have multiple privacy levels.
 
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