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As a politically oriented organization, a mutual help group typically arises as a grassroots movement to improve the quality of life for people with a specific disability.
As an extended family, a mutual help group can add new dimensions to the client's life.
So the mutual help group makes a place for everyone, a place in which family relationships can be strengthened through better understanding.
Mutual help groups exist for a tremendous array of diagnoses and problems.
Within the work on peer helping in mutual help groups, substantial interest has been devoted to the 12-step groups Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA).
The ability to see beyond such dualities may be part of what AA, NA, and other mutual help groups offer.
However, a lingering question for adolescent SUD treatment providers is whether to similarly devote limited clinical resources to facilitating post-treatment 12-Step mutual help group participation, or whether resources should be directed toward other therapeutic activities, such as enhancing motivation for change, teaching cognitive and behavioral coping skills or altering contextual contingencies and family dynamics.
These findings highlight the relative importance of motivation and commitment to abstinence as key factors for youth success (Kelly, Myers & Brown 2000); moreover, they suggest that the therapeutic mechanisms of change in mutual help groups may be different for different age groups.