The Self Help Movement – Gaining A Deeper Understanding

What is a self-help movement? What are the benefits of self-help movements? Where can I find a self-help movement? This article answers these and more questions.

 Hi. My name is Sean Galla. I am a facilitator of support groups and forums, including self-help movements, with over 10 years of experience. In my work, I have seen firsthand how important being part of a support movement is to anyone, especially men.

The self-help movement ensures anyone can access mutual support and empowerment, push to become better people, and adapt habits and mechanisms to help them advance in their career and personal life, overcome addiction, and even better their financial life.

This article will find all the information you need about the self-help movement and why self-help groups come highly recommended for anyone interested in personal growth.

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Written by

Sean Galla

An experienced facilitator, community builder and Peer Support Specialist, Sean has been running men's groups for 10+ years. Read Sean's Full Author Bio.

The history of the self-help movement

A self-help movement is a group where people with shared situations come together to understand better, share, and find ways to make their situations better. In these member-owned groups, the participants get information, knowledge, emotional support, and education on different situations affecting their daily lives.

The self-help movement is nothing new. The idea started in 1935 when Alcoholics Anonymous was first established. Soon after the formation of this peer-led support group for people living with alcoholic addiction, it was noted that being part of the group accomplished more in relapse prevention for alcoholics than any other treatment service or treatment center.

Fast forward, the civil rights movements in the 1960s further cemented the power of group initiatives. By the early 70s, people had initiated small-group initiatives to accomplish common goals. These groups allowed people to work together to encourage change in the world around them.

In 1976, self-help movements came full circle. There were more resources than ever in this movement. Books such as The Strength in Us: Self-Help Groups in the Modern World and Support Systems and Mutual Help: Multi-disciplinary Explorations were readily available. This created even more awareness of the value of self-help groups and movements.

By the early 1980s, more and more self-help clearinghouses were popping up in different parts of the world, not just America. These clearinghouses offered members information on how to locate appropriate support groups and also provided information on how new self-help groups could be created.

Today, self-help movements and groups remain strong in different parts of America, like New York, 2600 Southampton Road, Philadelphia, and other areas of America like Pennsylvania. More than 25 million Americans have benefited from more than 400 self-help groups treatment programs.

The self-help movement Inc. has enabled access to addiction treatment and recovery help like the creation of transitional halfway houses, short-term and long term inpatient and outpatient drug rehab centers or residential treatment programs for case management, cognitive behavioral therapy, and detox, even for people with no health insurance or Medicaid.


Why the self-help movement is important

In a traditional societal setup, friends and family can offer social support to one another’s well-being. However, it is not always possible for family or friends to truly understand your issues if they have never walked in your shoes.

This is why being part of a self-help group is essential. Only in self-help group therapy can you meet other people with the same drive to succeed and overcome. This gives you the perfect platform to learn and grow as you try to overcome your issues.

Fostering accountability

For human beings, continuous personal development is essential to any individual, professional, or social life. Even though the self-help industry has made a lot of money from offering professional guidance and help to get better, the failure rates still need to be lowered. According to research, at least 96% of people who set self-improvement goals fail.

According to another survey, New Year’s resolutions are 86% more likely to be abandoned before February. This failure can be attributed to the lack of commitment and inability to focus on improving strengths.

It has been found that the best way to set and stick to a goal is by having an accountability partner, and self-help groups offer precisely that.

When you set a goal and verbally share it in a group, you are more likely to work on this goal and reach it. Whether you are dealing with mental health issues you want to overcome, need a mastermind group for career development, or are looking for alcoholic Anonymous support to quit, being part of a peer-led support group improves your chances of meeting your goal and sticking to it.

The self-help group members are there to push you and ensure you attain your goal, no matter how unattainable it may seem at first.

It is a brotherhood

Being part of a self-improvement group gives you access to other people going through the same life issues. This helps to ease the stress and makes it easier to avoid self-isolation and be familiar with people who feel misunderstood or stuck. Taking part in the group activities gives the self-help group members a higher understanding of their issues, improving their self-esteem.

Social Advocacy

Through the efforts of self-help groups, members get access to information to understand specific concerns better. The self-help movement has made it possible for people to have safe spaces where they can go to learn about their rights and privileges.


Types of self-help movement groups

Self-help groups range from informal meetings to regular groups comprising small groups of three or more members interested in mutual help.

Twelve-steps programs

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), cocaine anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, and Narcotics Anonymous are the most common 12-step programs or mutual aid groups for substance abuse. These types of self-help groups help members overcome addiction, alcoholism, and other addictive behaviors through a 12-step recovery program and advocacy.

In a twelve-step group, members are encouraged to turn their lives to a superior power like spiritual guides or God. This relinquishes control to this higher power as an essential part of recovery. The participants are encouraged to remain anonymous.

Traditional groups

These types of self-help groups meet in public places or health care centers. They address different issues faced by the members and offer a group-based solution. This includes mental illnesses like bipolar, substance use disorders, access to health services, and other issues standing in the way of them becoming better people. Such a meeting can occur once a week, bi-weekly, or once a month, depending on the group’s mandate.

Online groups

Over the years, there has been an increase in the number of online-based peer support self-help groups. These online self-help programs represent a growing trend in modern-day human services help where members share in group meetings in chat rooms, forums, self-help podcasts or closed social networks. The main benefit of online self-help groups is that online platforms are available around the clock, which is impossible with in-person group meetings.

Most of the time, online support groups are led by a moderator who is not necessarily a health professional, who guides the conversation and offers helpful resources to the members for smart recovery.

Whether you live in the heart of New York or somewhere in Europe, you can find an online self-help group through online referrals at the click of a button.

Top-rated self-help movement groups today

The Family Institute

This organization holds a self-improvement group for men in different age groups. This self-help group encourages the members to reflect inwards and leads them to self-discovery. The group uses a here-and-now approach that allows members to support one another to empower them in their professional, relational, and personal lives.

L3 Leadership

This mastermind group is centered on building a community of leaders by encouraging them to grow to their full potential. As a member of L3, you are encouraged and equipped to follow your dreams and are guides on how to become a better leader in your family, community, city, and country. All L3 mastermind group members are coached, encouraged, and held accountable as part of the growth process to meet your goals. You can learn more through their helpline.


Lack of support providers is one of the major causes of mental health issues amongst men. MensGroup is an online men’s self-improvement group that offers group support, help, and guidance to men interested in becoming better versions of themselves.

It is a supportive network of men ready and willing to help others like them through shared life experiences. MensGroup uses different group activities for service delivery. The Men’s Group self-help session contains relevant information to help you lead a better life. It is more than just a self-help group. It will equip you with the necessary resources to become a better man and lead a more fulfilling life.

As an online support group for men, the group meets virtually over video or chat, making it perfect for busy men who prefer not to attend physical meetings.


There are numerous self-help groups in different parts of America. If you are looking for a self-help support group available at all times, MensGroup is one of the best options today. As an online-based self-help group, you can be sure that there is always an active meeting or forum.

The possibilities of success once you join a self-improvement group are tremendous. Only through a self-help group can you truly enjoy a better, happier life.