What is a facilitated online support group?

Online support groups are Internet chat sessions that occur in real time, in a process that is very much like talking on the telephone with a group of people. The communications are typed instead of spoken, and the group discussions are led by trained counselors.


How are these chats different than online discussion groups or bulletin boards?


A bulletin board, blog, or discussion forum is a form of online communication where participants can log in at any time to post on a website and then wait for a reply to be made at a later time. Online chats are different as they take place in real time, with all members logging in at the same time to take part in the discussion.


What are the groups like?


The online chats are hosted on a password protected website, and only members of your group have a password to log in and join the discussion. Most groups have 6-8 members plus a facilitator. Most chats are held for an hour and a half and run over 10 sessions that are held once a week, but some groups are ongoing. Group discussions are focused around common experiences or concerns and questions. Members are encouraged to speak openly and to support each other.