Our support groups are informal resources that attempts to provide healing components to a variety of problems and challenges patients with Transverse myelitis and their family members face. Our goal is to provide informal support outside of family, friends, or professionals that will give greater understanding, more similarity (from individuals experiencing similar life events), an opportunity for empathy and altruism, and a sense of identity for participants. Learning new ways to handle challenges, cope with life changes, and new emotions as a result of the diagnosis are all important aspects of the support group.
A characteristic unique to support groups is the mutual support members are able to provide one another. This support and validation from other group members help facilitate personal growth and change in a way that individual therapy cannot. Although experts and professionals can provide support and positive direction, the mutual exchange of information between group members is a powerful experience that often induces lasting change as outsiders cannot relate to the challenges Transverse myelitis patients experience.
Some support group leaders depending on their experience may be able to help patients adjust to specific treatments, while others focus on longer-term adjustment and recovery issues. This will depend on the support group leader.
The healing power of support groups is well documented, and support groups offer many of the same therapeutic characteristics as more structured groups. These factors include: altruism (chance to help others), belongingness, universality (there are others who struggle with similar challenges), interpersonal learning, guidance, catharsis, identification, self-understanding, instillation of hope, and existential factors (such as the search for larger meaning in life). Each of these factors is directly related to the mutual support that members provide one another. Leaders of our support groups recognize that people who contact them will be in different phases in dealing with Transverse myelitis, and, therefore, the needs and contributions of individual members may vary greatly.
We hope that should you need any support or resources that we will be able to provide it regardless of your geographical location. If you still have any remaining issues after contacting a support group leader, please feel free to contact kimberley "at" mytm.ca so that we may get you all the support that you need to deal with your diagnosis, treatment and emotions.
National Support Group Leader
kimberley “at” mytm.ca
Support Group Leader for Family Members
instepphysicaltherapy “at” yahoo.ca