Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology
How to Cite
Klaw, E. and Luong, D. 2010. Self-Help Groups. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.
- Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
A self-help group is an organization of individuals sharing a common concern who meet regularly to provide and receive emotional support and to exchange information. Self-help groups exist for nearly every health and social support problem; this makes them a useful referral source for mental health professionals. Further, because self-help groups are free of charge and allow unlimited attendance, they provide ongoing support to participants regardless of limits imposed by financial resources and managed health care. Self-help groups thus provide vital access to care for underserved groups. In fact, individuals with low incomes (less than $20,000/year) and low social support are more likely to participate than individuals with higher levels of economic and support resources (Klaw & Humphreys, 2004). Although self-help groups have traditionally convened through face-to-face meetings, in recent years Internet self-help forums have proliferated.