Support Groups vs. One-on-One Peer Support

When we are faced with life events that stretch our capacity for coping, like receiving a cancer diagnosis, emotional support is a mediator for stress, whether it be support groups or one-on-one support.  Balancing the demands of dealing with a cancer diagnosis with emotional support during the journey can offset adverse experiences and even influence your experience of treatment and its outcome.  It’s not surprising then that many cancer survivors do search for support groups and more and more, are finding support for themselves and their spouse by searching online for support.

CanCare provides One-on-One Support where trained volunteer survivors and caregivers are connected with client survivors or caregivers for emotional support.  When thinking about support, here are some things to consider that distinguish cancer support groups from one-on-one support.

Support Groups

Accessibility:

  • Support groups are usually available locally at area hospitals
  • Also available online through FB groups or live chats

One-on-One Support

Accessibility:

  • One-on-one support an be done anywhere.
  • Remotely by phone or email or face to face if both the volunteer and client live locally.

Initiation:

  • May need to locate group meetings and travel there, set up logins and accounts

Initiation:

  • A phone call or web request begins the process.

Facilitation:

  • The leadership of support groups may be professional by a nurse, counselor or doctor or may be peer-led
  • Facilitation skills can vary greatly and affect the content of the meeting

Facilitation:

  • The one-on-one relationship is client-driven and takes shape based on the volunteer and client involved.
  • All CanCare volunteers are trained to provide emotional support.

Content:

  • Support groups may or may not be people with the same cancer diagnosis, stage or treatment

Content:

Control:

  • In a support group you will hear many different experiences and some may be upsetting.

Control:

  • In a One-on-one peer relationship you work out the dialogue with your volunteer and can more easily establish boundaries for yourself.

Survivorship:

  • Support group members may not have a positive relationship with survivorship.  The group, depending on members and the skills of the facilitator may overly focus on the challenges of cancer.
  • You are likely to have people at all stages of the cancer experience.

Survivorship:

  • CanCare volunteers are at least 6-12 months post-cancer treatment and have been trained to process the experience of their own cancer so as to have a very empowering relationship with survivorship.
  • They are survivors who have made it through the journey.

We believe in the power of a survivor by your side. Call us to get started: 713-461-0028 or send us a request online.

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