Support groups come in all sizes and flavors, in person and online. Whether you're looking for a divorce support group, a cancer support group, depression, grief, or weight loss support group, the elements for providing you with substantive and positive emotional, mental, physical or spiritual support are still the same. There are two kinds of support groups: positive and negative.

A pro-active positive support group is one that promotes learning about new medicines, new procedures, new clinical trials, new books, CD's et al about your disorder. This group promotes going forward, and helps facilitate your research and personal empowerment as a blessing.

When you are introduced to the group they do not spend endless hours recounting the disease story about why you are here. It's a fact that does not need to be addressed again and again that you have a disorder story. YOU live it, so why keep going over it and over it and over it, to activate all that negative energy? That's WHY you joined that particular group.

The positive group leader is not intimidated by your unanswerable questions, but is inspired to become more educated about your topic. Your leader encourages you to ask current unanswerable questions and challenges each member to think beyond disease limiting conditions and current horizons. They promote all of the members to participate by delegating various positive assignments for everyone. If this is a local group, you take "glad to be alive, share life" field trips that have absolutely NOTHING to do with the disorder, and EVERYTHING about feeling good about yourself, seeing the world, laughing and having a balanced life. This group supports taking care of your appearance, sharing new ideas, resources and adventures about makeup, hair, wardrobe, personal hygiene and physical rehabilitation and exercise. This group wants you to care about your personal appearance, so when you look in the mirror and are seen by friends, you look alive, and as healthy and refined as possible for your condition. They discourage maintaining a "sick" image.


It should be a great concern to be in a group that does nothing but recount what was and all that is unhealthy and unhappily going on in the life of it's participants. Inevitably this will negatively impact participant's minds and spirits. This is often seen in online Internet groups. Research tends to support that recounting your horror story and reading the countless venting of others, does not support a positive attitude that promotes physical healing and healthy emotional and mental responses. This group meets only to go over and over and over your tale of diagnosis and personal devastation, from your introduction "story" to your tale of weekly woes. This is a disorder "victim" group. It is commiseration of negative energy at the highest level of disguise. No matter how much you think that this group is helping you, they are not. They exist to talk about and share negative experiences creating a "stuck" atmosphere. It’s bonding by perpetual "downers."

You do not receive points on the other side for being a victim of your diagnosis, disease, or plight. You are in fact, contributing to your own demise. Acceptance is one thing, denial another. Being a victim assists your problem in draining your own life force energy. Having a problem and addressing it with the "pity poor me" approach is futile. It may elicit help for a while, but the keyword here is for a while. Give up the pity party. Fight! Instead, use that time researching how to restore and regenerate your life.

Do not use the fact that you are having a terrible reaction to something in your treatment as making you special or as your identity. I have seen many cancer clients who wanted attention, and used the negative occurrences in their illness as a banner to set them apart. This is not productive. It frustrates your healthcare provider. They are aware of the psychological reasons you are using your negative reaction for attention. Understanding that this is a confusing and complicated time in your life, try to take your identity from your positive approach to life. Therefore, when you healthcare provider does not emphasize or respond to your negative identity crisis, it’s a good sign. Their job is to assist your health, not enable you.

Grieving is an area that takes a little more time. HOWEVER, positive attitudes are essential here also. Although you have lost a loved one, living with a dead memory can kill off your life force energy day to day and breath by breath. I personally understand this as my fiance was killed in a sudden auto crash. I never had the chance to say ANYTHING! However, it's better to celebrate their life and remember all the good. Then you keep all the "positive" alive which is contributory to your healing. By celebrating their life, you never have to bury their memories. You can take them out at any time, like a special gift and savor all the wonderful thoughts and feelings.

Weight loss is just that. It takes times. However, while waiting, you can focus on the light at the end of the scale, instead of the chocolate bars and emotional traumas creating your health issue. You CAN tell a health story that presents your "learning opportunity" as a learning opportunity to help heal the others in your group, rather than a commiseration band aid.

If your group is not continually teaching you new and progressive things, and supporting your positive emotional, mental, spiritual and physical and appearance growth, leave.

If your group doesn't embrace having an open mind and awareness without censorship other than that of your personal intuition, leave!

UNTIL you take your knowledge gained from any group and turn it into a positive learning opportunity that you do something about! you are not going forward. Unless you choose to grow forward, you will remain in the same condition that brought you into the group in the first place.

Research continues to affirm that being a part of a positive support can add quality and quantity to your life. Although the intent of most support groups is to be contributory in helping it's members, a negative group can ultimately do more harm than good.

Author's Bio: 

B Brent Atwater, American: 1947- artist, painter, visionary, healer, author and philanthropist.

Brent Atwater is a peer reviewed and respected, documented and published renowned international medical intuitive and distant energy healer who collaborates and works with the worlds leading doctors, researchers and medical facilities. Her work establishes evidence based research that creates and documents the bridging of traditional and alternative healthcare into integrative medicine.

Having successfully licensed her artwork for 30+ years, B. Atwater is one of the contemporary American artists/ painters that is bringing forth a new cultural renaissance by blending her classical artistic training with spirituality and energy merged and infused into paintings.
Brent's award winning art compels and seduces your emotions into a palpable experience with her subject matter; sometimes beautiful or fragile, at times haunting or humorous with attitude, most times healing, inspiring or profound, and always thought provoking!
Her paintings mirror the spirit and soul of her subjects, creating intimacy, personal awareness, and shared experiences within each viewer.
The enticing energy, evocative coloration, and diversified styles of her paintings make Brent's art highly sought after by patrons and collectors around the globe.

Atwater is an art medicine pioneer in the USA by scientifically documenting the healing energy, diagnostic abilities and healing benefits of her healing art- Paintings That Heal™, and Healing Art for Children™.

As a philanthropist, Brent founded the Just Plain Love™ Charitable Trust to benefit Children and other worthwhile causes. She authors and illustrates her Just Plain Love™ Children's Books, that turn negatives of illness into positives!