Self-help groups (also called support groups) are groups of people who share a similar problem or concern and meet together to support and encourage each another. Meetings usually include sharing topic information, self disclosure, and networking, and finding referrals for professional help. Self-help groups can be single groups formed at one time in one place for one purpose, or part of a large formal organization. Others are loosely organized and not part of any central organization, and some meet only on the Internet. Some of the largest self-help groups are 12-step programs, in which members work through a 12-step spiritual process to overcome addictions.
Some health problems that self-help groups tackle include stuttering, anorexia, bipolar disorder, and all forms of addictions, including gambling, food, sex, alcohol, cocaine, narcotics, shopping, and many more. There are self-help groups to support parents of children with attention deficit disorder, cerebral palsy, autism, and other disabilities, and support groups for families and friends of addicts and alcoholics. Some self-help groups are organized around personal growth and self-actualization. Others tackle career issues such as job hunting.