How Group Therapy Can Benefit SMA Patients

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by Brianna Albers |

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With the costs of therapy on the rise, it’s no wonder that some people have started looking to group therapy as an alternative. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), clinical trials have begun to demonstrate the effectiveness of group therapy, suggesting that it works just as well as one-on-one therapy.

When groups have a “common identity” and a “sense of shared purpose,” members are encouraged to interact with their peers, allowing for “social support, [improved] social [networking],” and the “[reduction] of stigma, isolation and feelings of alienation.”

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SMA patients in particular might find group therapy useful. Instead of receiving (potentially expensive) professional help, group therapy allows patients to discuss the difficulties of chronic illness with people who know firsthand what it’s like, while also brainstorming solutions to common problems, such as communication barriers or illness-related physical hangups.

Not all group therapy needs to be led by a professional. As the APA suggests, there is power in numbers—a community-led support group might also result in greater life satisfaction. Meetup is a great resource for finding support groups in your community, or maybe even starting your own.

For SMA patients who are homebound, the internet is another great resource. Message boards, or forums, allow for near-instantaneous communication between people in different locations, and are oftentimes used in the online community-led support group format. One such community is, founded early last week by a couple from Brazil.

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