Welcome to our support group information page! All of our cancer support groups are currently online. You may join by video by registering for the group you wish to attend. The registration link can be found on each page (there is a support group webpage in the support group dropdown menu for each type of group).
Frequently Asked Questions
What are Cancer Lifeline’s cancer support group goals?
Our cancer support groups are designed to meet four key needs:
* Members have a place where emotions can be expressed and not judged
* Members gain a sense of community & inclusion with others in a similar situation
* Members find ways in which choice & control can be attained while living with cancer
* Members are provided with opportunities for education and information
Why does Cancer Lifeline require group members to join by video?
Developing a sense of community and feeling safe or comfortable in sharing emotions relies upon being able to connect with other group members through human presence. When our groups are offered in person, physical bodily presence is automatic and no one is able to join without showing themselves. In an onscreen environment, this becomes difficult because it is possible not to show oneself.
What will happen if I join a group without video?
If you join a group without video without seeking an exception in advance, the group facilitator will ask you to join by video. If you do not do so and this is your first time attending the group, the support group facilitator will determine whether to allow you to stay based on your responsiveness to questions about why you cannot join by video. If you join a second time without your video and without an exception granted, the group facilitator will remove you from the meeting. Please note: this does not apply to the presentation portion of the meeting, which is case-by-case as determined by the presenter.
What if I am really uncomfortable with “being seen” on video and this will prevent me from attending?
Cancer Lifeline wants to make our groups available to all people who are within the defined scope of each group. We recognize that it can be hard to see yourself on video, and that, in some ways, Zoom acts as a “mirror” because it shows you to yourself on video. Yet, our support group environment is designed to help everyone feel included, regardless of any physical limitations or appearance connected to cancer or its treatment.
We want to help potential new members understand the potential connecting experience that can happen with other members who “get it.” Because verbal communication is a small part of total communication, it is lessened further by having members not being able to see the person speaking. This can contribute to groups not feeling connected to one another and the community they can otherwise create. It also limits the ability of the group facilitator to notice when a group member may need some extra support.
If you still feel uncertain about it, we’d love to talk to you about our cancer support group approach individually. Any person wishing to join a group without their video must submit a request for an exception at least one week in advance of the group they wish to join. Please submit requests for exceptions to: Pamela Krueger, firstname.lastname@example.org, (206) 832-1271.