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Q: "Emotional support groups" ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: "Emotional support groups"
Category: Family and Home > Families
Asked by: riverwoman-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 13 Sep 2005 15:25 PDT
Expires: 13 Oct 2005 15:25 PDT
Question ID: 567713
Is there an on-line (or otherwise) support group for middle-aged
siblings in a family that are completely alienated by anger, jealousy,
family history, possible personality disorders, etc. (NOT by
geography)?    Part2:  Is there a support group for a PARENT of these siblings?

Request for Question Clarification by sublime1-ga on 13 Sep 2005 22:42 PDT

I worked in the field of mental health for 20+ years, so
I'm speaking from experience.

Most support groups, online and otherwise, revolve around
a focus on a particular condition which creates the trauma
and emotional responses you're describing.

One such group is Adult Children of Alcoholics, or ACoA,
and they have both offline and online support to offer.
The principles they teach are all about creating healthy
boundaries and learning how not to let others (especially
relatives) push your buttons. I would heartily recommend
them to anyone with "issues" in general.

While they specialize in helping the adult children of
alcoholic parents in recovering self-esteem and learning
how to regain healthy boundaries and an ability to assert
themselves effectively, the meetings they host are not
usually restricted or limited to only those with alcoholic
parents or relatives, and anyone coming from a dysfunctional
family of any sort can benefit greatly from attending.

Here's their website:

Here's their worldwide meeting list page:

Here's another good resource site:

Here's a list of the characteristics of adult children, and
you can see that these characteristics are also likely to 
occur with members of families which were dysfunctional, even
if alcohol was not at the root of the problem:

One of the characteristics defines the dysfunction known as

"We are dependent personalities who are terrified of abandonment
 and will do anything to hold on to a relationship in order not
 to experience painful abandonment feelings which we received
 from living with sick people who were never there emotionally
 for us"
From the same page:

Let me know if this constitutes sufficient direction to satisfy
your interests in asking this question, or if there is further
information specific to your family that might provide a more
precise direction in terms of the root of the dysfunctional
interactions they are experiencing.


Clarification of Question by riverwoman-ga on 14 Sep 2005 07:27 PDT
THank you so much for your very solid information.  To clarify, I am
58 and spent my share of time in therapy setting those boundaries;
alcoholic, suicide father, emotionally abusive stepfather.  After
years of work, I am pretty healthy.  Sadly it appears my two
half-sisters have now manifested severe borderline behaviors; events
have happened to exacerbate traits they had managed to camouflage.  I
want to be in a group where I can hear other stories of how these
behaviors play out, and how others are surviving the grief of having
to let go of toxic relationships; as I am so aware of how these are
the hardest disorders to cure.  I have spent all the energy I can
afford on what I know I cannot fix, and tried to help my senior mother
cope.  I simply need others to talk to.  I am hoping there is a more
defined group other than AA -- for relationships with borderline and
narcissitic personalities.
Subject: Re: "Emotional support groups"
Answered By: sublime1-ga on 14 Sep 2005 15:33 PDT

There are innumerable support groups for people in relationship
with those who have the symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder
(BPD), even if those people have not been formally diagnosed. The
same holds true for Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

Happily, Google's system of page ranking tends to promote sites
which are the most popular and well-used to the top of the search
results, so just picking the top entries from searches for such
groups tends to produce the most useful list.

The top listing for BPD is

" is an Internet -based information service and
 support group. Our purpose is to provide a safe environment
 for the education, healing and recovery of persons who are
 in a relationship with someone who exhibits traits of
 Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Being involved with
 someone with BPD traits is disorienting, painful and often

 Our top priority is safety within the community and safety
 in your personal life."

"Our second priority is to assist you in your personal
 healing journey."
Much more on the page:

They have a page outlining the symptoms of someone with BPD,
based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders (DSM-IV):

And here they have an annotated version to help explain the
terminology used in the DSM-IV:

The Yahoo Directory has a whole page of links to support
groups centering on BPD. Some of these are offering support
for those diagnosed with BPD, and others are for those in
relationship with them:

Another great resource is Helen's World of BPD resources.
The following page is a directory of Online Support for NonBPs,
and she also has one for BPs, linked from this page:

Here's a very comprehensive resource site called BPD Central
which offers numerous possibilities, from books and CDs to
links to email lists, stories, and message boards such as
The Nook:

The Nook:

The list is almost endless, and you can find more of the
same types of resources by exploring the search results
I link to at the end of this question.

One of the most effective forms of therapy for those with
BPD is known as Dialectical Behavioral Training, or DBT,
which was developed by Marsha Linehan in 1991.
Even if the people with BPD cannot be convinced to take
the training, an understanding of the principles utilized
can be of considerable help to those who interact with them.

DBT resource sites:

A site identified only as Llama Central:

Here's a list of skills developed by the training:

"An Overview of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy in the
 Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder"
From Psychiatry On-line:

Here's a very useful site called DBT Self-Help which
was authored by people who have taken DBT training
and aimed at refining and enhancing the skills:

A similar set of resources exists for those dealing with
people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

Here's a very comprehensive one from

The Narcissism Discussion and Support Group:

The NPD message board and discussion group at Yahoo: has a huge number of forums devoted
to dealing with disorders of all kinds:

Here's their forum for NPD:

I've attempted to weed through the resources and provide
links to the best and most comprehensive. Once you start
exploring them, I'm sure you'll find your way to the 
best resources for your specific situation.

Please do not rate this answer until you are satisfied that  
the answer cannot be improved upon by way of a dialog  
established through the "Request for Clarification" process. 


Additional information may be found from an exploration of
the links resulting from the Google searches outlined below.

Searches done, via Google:

"borderline personality disorder" OR BPD "support group"

"narcissistic personality disorder" OR NPD "support group"

Subject: Re: "Emotional support groups"
From: angy-ga on 14 Sep 2005 05:12 PDT
The point at which I decided that support groups have become an
industry, was when I read a psychiatrist in all seriousness stating:

"All families are to some extent dysfunctional".

Siblings do not have to like each other; it's unfortunate if they
don't, but if they're all grown up, and they can avoid each other, why
does it matter?

They do have common duties (an old fashioned concept, I know) in
regards to making family decisions as to property or care of infirm
family members ethically and equitably.

The parent probably needs to reclaim his or her own life. I'd start by
axing all family events where the siblings were likely to meet (e.g.
go away to the Caribbean for Christmas) and by absolutely refusing to
discuss one sibling with another. This would cut down the emotional
overload, and help the parent enjoy each child for their own virtues.

And remember, after the age of about 25, people really should be
taking responsibility for their own live. It's not all the parent's
fault - regardless of the someone else says.

Tell the siblings to grow up, and tell the parent it's time to cut free.

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