Characteristics of a well functioning group

• Attraction to individual members of the group.
• Feelings of getting help by helping.
• Risk-taking by group members.
• Demystification of the members experience and consensual validation
• Strong leadership with a willingness to share on the part of the leader, along with rotation of leadership roles
• A focus on goals and resolution of discrepancies in individual and group goals
• Active participation by group members.
• Demand by the group for self-responsibility of members.
• Elaboration ofa substitute culture in which identity changes can occur.
• Expansion of alternative perceptions through continuous intervention.

Source: Richard J. Riordan and Marilyn S. Beggs. Counselors and Self-Help Groups. Journal of Counseling & Development. Volume 65, Issue 8, pages 427–429, April 1987

Working the Steps

“If we have ‘worked’ the Twelve Steps on a daily basis, I do believe we now re­alize the value of surrender and the power that releases in us. Just by making a decision in Step Three “to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand God” • is the beginning of reconnection with life and with our selves. Now, we are conscious how our own isolation paradoxically isolated family, friends, loved ones from us. The more our friends tried to help us the more we went deeper into the darkness. Our darkness and their inability to comfort us in turn pushed them deeper into their own feelings of helplessness and isolation. Many times the desire to help the de­ pressed pushes the helper deeper into the isolation of the depressed – mirroring the reality often depressed person.”

Source: DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS, Harmony House Publishers, Louisville, Ky, 1998, Page 186.

Vital Spirtual Experience

“This work (birth), when it is perfect, will be due solely to God’s action while you have been passive. If you really forsake your own knowledge and will, then surely and gladly God will enter with his knowledge shining clearly. Where God achieves self-consciousness, your own knowledge is ofno use, nor has it standing. Do not imag­ ine that your own intelligence may rise to it, so that you may know God. Indeed, when God divinely enlightens you, no natural light is required to bring that about. This (natural light) must in fact be completely extinguished before God will shine in with his light, bringing back with God all that you have forsaken and a thousand times more, together with a new form to contain it all.”
– Meister Eckart (c. 1260-1328)

Spirtuality Spurs Recovery From Depression

WASHINGTON, March 2, 2006 I U.S. Newswire

The following was released by the National Institute for Healthcare Research: “A recent study in the American Journal of Psychiatry identified this other often overlooked resource patients draw upon to help fend off depression – a deep religious commitment – that significantly reduced recovery times. This study focused on 85 patients hospitalized with serious medical illness who also became depressed. Among their battery of tests, patients took the Hoge Intrinsic Religiousness Scale which measures how deeply a person has internalized their religious values and faith. Surprisingly, patients recovered from their depression 70 percent faster for every 10-point increase on the Hoge scale, which ranged from 10 to 50. This link held even when taking into account other factors that could speed up recovery including improving physical health…”

Higher Thoughts

AFFIRMATION
I will affirm myself by getting in touch with my feelings and expressing
them.

“To know how to behave you have to rely on other people’s opinions, and so
you live under the tyrannies of ‘they.’ What will ‘they’ think? is the
thing that accompanies every action and determines every decision.”

DECISION

I am so accustomed to living my life on the basis of others feelings
thoughts, and decisions about myself that in the end I feel de-selfed.
I feel empty and horribly alone; I feel saddened over the loss of my
identity as a person.
Now, I feel hopeful as I see that one of my best ways to defend my
sense of nothingness is to seek out the presence of this force
bigger than myself and be willing today–just for today, to let it
work its power in my life. My identity as a person is going to grow
slowly and spiritually.
Even depressed, it’s hard to make up my mind. Just knowing that
this is part of my depression makes it less painful as I still make
a mental decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of
God, as I understand him.

MEDITATION

Our God is consciousness and is knowledgeable of everything in the
universe. Our God is at the center of our lives, replacing the
sadness around which our world revolved. The more conscious we are
of God working in our minds and thoughts, the more we are going to
feel like someone we can love. (Personal comments).

Let’s hear from you today.

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