Professional-led versus family-led support groups: Exploring the differences

Brief Reports


Support groups often help families cope more effectively with relatives' mental illnesses. This study examines the differences between support groups led by professionals and those led by family members, focusing specifically on group participation benefits and group content. Results indicate that participants of both professional and family-led groups reported that the groups provided them with needed information about mental illness and its treatment and that the groups improved their relationships with their ill relatives. Professional-led groups placed a greater emphasis on the relatives' problems and coping with emotions, and family-led groups placed a greater emphasis on advocacy. Suggestions are provided regarding increased collaboration between professional and family-led support groups.


Public Health Family Member Mental Illness Health Promotion Health Psychology 
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Copyright information

© Association of Behavioral Healthcare Management 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan A. Pickett
    • 1
  • Tamar Heller
    • 2
  • Judith A. Cook
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, National Research and Training Center on Psychiatric DisabilityUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicago
  2. 2.Institute on Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at ChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry, National Research and Training Center on Psychiatric Disabilityat the University of Illinois at ChicagoUSA

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