Dealing with life after divorce can be difficult and lonely. Support groups for women offer the chance to move forward with help from others experiencing the same issues and concerns.
Choosing a Divorce Support Group
In rural and remote areas, you may not have many choices for support groups. However, you should still consider whether any option is a good fit for you. Joining a bad support group could be worse for your emotional health than not joining one at all. Those in urban areas can compare and contrast different groups to see which works best for their needs and personality.
Group Facilitator Credentials
Peer support groups are often run by well-intentioned women who have experienced divorce in their own lives. While they may have received brief training via a published book or manual, they won't necessarily have an extensive background in counseling. More professional groups will be lead by a licensed social worker, licensed mental health counselor, or someone with similar credentials. They may also have specialized training from classes and internships dealing with divorce specifically. Both types of facilitators can be helpful, but you should decide how important these credentials are to you.
Many support groups are held in churches or women's health centers. Ask about the location before joining the group to make sure it's some place you'll feel comfortable.
Smaller groups can lead to more intimate relationships while larger groups allow you more opportunities to be an observer. Consider how group size will affect your comfort level and your healing process.
Personal Beliefs and Preferences
Some support groups are planned based around specific religious or moral beliefs. Check on the background of the program being used to plan the support group. If the basis for the group goes against your own personal beliefs and values, it may not be beneficial for you.
Women's In-Person Divorce Support Groups
While online support groups can be convenient and comfortable to some, face-to-face conversations are also beneficial.
Social networking meets live interaction with Meetup. The site or app helps you find locally organized support groups ranging from educationally focused to those incorporating happy hour. The groups are hosted by people like you and are typically free. Each listing shows the name of the group, the location, the organizer, and the number of people in the group. If you don't see a meeting nearby, you can easily create your own Meetup to post publicly and look for others to join.
Divorce Care features thousands of weekly meetings all around the world with resources from divorce experts. Meetings are typically held in local churches, and training is available for those looking to start a support group in their area. The program is designed to allow women to join at any time. For the first half hour, you'll watch a video seminar from experts. Then, you'll spend time discussing the video and any personal topics. There is a registration fee of $30 that includes a workbook. Sometimes, on-site childcare is available.
State by State Support Groups
Organizations, hospitals, and therapists in different states run local and regional support groups for women who are divorced. Start by searching a large database or directory for your state to find a group that works for you.
- Woman'sDivorce.com: Click on your state then scroll down to the "Support and Recover" section. Select "Divorce Recovery Groups" and you'll be taken to an alphabetical listing of counseling and support group options with contact information for each.
- Psychology Today: As a mental health resource Psychology Today offers numerous listings for all types of resources related to divorce. Enter your city or zip code in the search box provided or click on your state name near the bottom of the webpage. You'll be redirected to a list of groups in your state with details for each listing.
- If you're having trouble locating an in-person group, ask local women's hospitals, churches, or non-profit women's organizations for referrals.
Finding Comfort in Numbers
Support groups help women dealing with the aftermath of divorce combat loneliness and anxiety through interpersonal relationships. Finding a meeting or group is great but finding the right one for you is the best option.