By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.
Anyone know of support groups for people with PTSD?
This question came in from a reader. They were specifically asking about local support groups here in Fresno. I did not come up with much and so I thought I would offer a few suggestions and then ask those of you out there if anyone else knows of any other resources.
Unfortunately, most of my suggestions may not help the person who asked the question, the resources are limited.
1. Try on-line groups.
I am familiar with some groups or communities on the internet. More and more the specialized groups are becoming self-help or peer-run groups on the internet.
One, in particular, is Trauma and Dissociation which is a Google+ community. You have to have a google+ account to access this but opening an account is easy and free.
You can also try the WordPress Blog: http://traumaanddissociation.wordpress.com/
2. Larger insurance providers may have something to offer if you have private insurance. Kaiser for one has offered some groups. Can anyone add to that list?
3. Your insurance provider may be able to refer you to a private therapist and some few of them specialize in PTSD an even smaller number may offer group formats.
4. If you are in substance abuse recovery some A.A. and N. A. groups, while not specifically devoted to people with PTSD can be supportive places for people in substance use recovery who have PTSD or another mental health issues also. Check out the group and make sure you feel comfortable with them before divulging the details of things other than the official topic.
5. VA has some groups and more likely to come in the future as so many veterans are returning from multiple deployments with PTSD and the related MST (Military Sexual Trauma.)
6. Those people who are receiving services through their local Community Mental Health Department should check with them for available groups. In Fresno County, if you have no insurance there are county-run programs for those on Medi-Cal and those with no or very low-income.
It remains to be seen if these groups will be expanded. Personally, I think specialty groups for people with specific issues can be especially powerful. I anticipate that as more people become eligible for services in the government-run systems we will increase the number of groups run by both peers and professionals.
Any other suggestions?