Are Support Groups for Me?
"Support Groups? I’m Not a Group Person!"
This can be a common answer when cancer patients or their loved ones are asked about attending a support group meeting. Certainly, support groups are not for everyone, and deciding to attend a cancer support group is a personal decision.
However, the decision to not attend can be based on misunderstandings about what happens at support groups. Some worry they will be forced to share intimate personal feelings with total strangers; others are concerned that hearing other patients’ stories will only make them upset or more nervous than they already are; and the very practical may question how a group can help if it can’t make the cancer disappear.
Unfortunately, these barriers deprive the individual of one of the most unique and effective ways of coping with cancer. Cancer support groups at Moffitt are designed to be safe havens for patients or their caregivers to come together and garner the strength that comes from shared experiences. There is a special value in being with others who truly know what it means to face cancer. In this setting, members gain new perspectives and insights, provide comfort and support to each other and dismiss a sense of aloneness in the middle of cancer. Clinical social workers, trained in group facilitation, lead all Moffitt support groups.
Moffitt offers many support groups and are open to the community. Weekly and monthly groups are available. A few are below: Cancer Support Group (for adults with cancer), Caregiver’s Support Group (for those caring for a loved one with cancer), Lung Cancer Telephone Support Group (for adults with advanced stage lung cancer) and Telephone Support Group for Caregivers (for those caring for a loved one with brain metastases or brain tumor). Please call the Social Work office at 813-745-8407 for more information.