The Mutual Aid Group (MAG) provides for group meetings which promote sharing and processing of one's hardships, reactivating those latent resources that are necessary to overcome difficulties, past or present. The group provides a real help to those who have to deal with their own imbalance and disorientation.
We chose the mutual aid groups for their features:
• They are small groups in which face to face relationships are emphasized;
• Members meet with a purpose of mutual support on the following levels:
o Emotional, because its purpose is to overcome isolation and confusion;
o Informational and instrumental, because it is possible to exchange information related to the group's topic, in order to better understand and deal with the problem.
• They allow the creation of meaningful relationships.
The MAG groups are made up by equals, meaning that there is a common experience shared by all members, in spite of the possible individual differences. The basic principle that moves this type of groups is that each individual is and "expert" of its own history and past experiences.
Often we try with all our strength to keep the image of a normal life in the eyes of the rest of the world, for fear of not being understood and accepted. The group represents a privileged space in which everyone can take off their masks, and feel empowered to be completely themselves, with the certainty of being understood. Within the group everyone's times, feelings, thoughts and fantasies are met, leaving space for the experiences to flow, without the fear of judgement. The presence of a facilitator has the function to regulate and facilitate the communication, so as to create a friendly group climate, that promotes equality and openness to sharing.