Dialogic sharing of lived experience in different self-help/mutual aid groups

Borkman, Thomasina and Munn-Giddings, Carol (2018) Dialogic sharing of lived experience in different self-help/mutual aid groups. Groupwork, 27 (3). pp. 26-46. ISSN 1746-6091

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This article is based on a recent re-visiting of published data related to the ‘sharing’ processes between members of two strikingly different types of self-help/mutual aid groups run by and for peers who share the same situation. Data from taped meetings and observations with a stress-coping Carers’ groups is compared with observational data from an identity changing Alcoholics Anonymous group and discussed in relation to Bohm’s (1987, 1996/2013) concept of dialogue as an alternative communication process that facilitates inquiry and the accumulation of knowledge. Groups were at extreme opposites in terms of their expected goals, strategies of help, and organisational characteristics yet unexpected similarities were found in relation to the authority of sharing lived experience which was in both cases respectful, supportive and non-judgemental. Group members did not openly disagree with each other but expressed a difference in opinion by the juxtaposing of a personal story which suggested an alternative way of doing or viewing things. The paper contributes to our knowledge of how sharing lived experience can be a key similarity between strikingly different self-help/mutual aid groups. The paper also contributes to our understanding of the usefulness of dialogue as an explanatory framework for viewing self-help/mutual aid groups as collective learning enterprises.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: self-help/mutual aid groups, lived experience, dialogue, collective learning, sharing stories
Faculty: Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine & Social Care
Depositing User: Ian Walker
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2018 10:17
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2022 12:09
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/703693

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