These are the ongoing peer to peer support groups which we currently operate in Dublin, Cork & Limerick and have held over 250 of these since 2015. The support group format is designed specifically to the needs of people with social anxiety. When you attend one of the groups, you will be taken through the format and what is involve by one of the volunteers at the group who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
As the groups are led by people with lived experience, we have an in depth understanding of the needs of someone coming through our door and have used that knowledge to ensure the groups are as beneficial as possible for our service users.
By attending our support groups, you are agreeing to adhere with the group expectations as outlined below. (These apply to how we behave towards other users of the group and the volunteers)
1. Everything said and heard in the group will be treated with respect for the participants’ privacy. What is said in the group stays in the group.
2. Silence is acceptable. No one needs to say anything she/he does not wish to say. The group is supportive rather than judgmental.
3. The group offers respect for individual choices and experiences. If there is something you can tried in managing your anxiety that didn’t help, this doesn’t mean it wasn’t beneficial to someone else at the group.
4. When a person is the group is talking, the rest of the group should respect that, listen and support as appropriate.
5. No one is allowed to dominate the conversation.
6. The group is a safe place to share feelings, experiences, and to obtain and provide support, information, reassurance and encouragement.
7. This support group is open to all persons 18 years of age or older that experience social anxiety
8. Although the results of going to group can be therapeutic, the group is not meant to replace individual therapy.
9. Follow the directions and requests of the group volunteers throughout the session.
10. This is a support group, it is not be used for the purposes of seeking dating romantic interests or otherwise. This is a peer to peer support group for social anxiety.
11. The group is not to be used for self-promotion of other groups, commercial services or similar i.e. You can recommend what works for you but that doesn’t allow anyone in the group to tell others what they should do.
12. The materials, content and products used during the support group are the copyright and intellectual property of Step Out Ireland.
Failure to adhere to the above group expectations will result in appropriate follow up and action by Step Out Ireland.
As the groups are led by people with lived experience, we have an in depth understanding of the needs of someone coming through our door and have used that knowledge to ensure the groups are as beneficial as possible for everyone. .
One of the ways that the group is specifically designed to the needs to someone with social anxiety is that we provide each group is provided with topic cards which covers both general and anxiety related topics. This assists people attending the group to learn from each others experiences in order to more positively manage our anxieties into the future.
Please contact us if you have any questions in the meantime.