Connection and Support

Connection – Gina

Support and Connecting

I think about the value of human connection a great deal in my work, especially when working with those with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. I am continuously reminded of the value that support plays in the lives of individuals in recovery both in relationship to addiction and mood disorders. There is a great deal of research related to the value connection plays in well-being and addiction. One of my favorite reviews of this topic can be watched here in this TED talk:

Knowing the profound impact support and connection can have in the lives of all individuals whether they are recovering after a loss, relapse, manic episode, depressive episode, etc. makes helping patients in identifying a support system a priority in my work with them. Sharing the weight of life stressors with loved ones or peers can help lessen the weight of the load we are carrying. Dr. Rick Hanson discusses how to build your own internal resources through your support system in more detail here:

While it can be difficult to ask for help and very scary to open up to others, it can be immensely important when overcoming large life challenges. Finding people you feel most comfortable sharing with and/or seeking support from is a big step in this process. It can be helpful to examine ahead of time who in your life you can reach out for for different types of support at different times. This may be your biological family, your chosen family, friends, spiritual community or support groups

Check out Steven Propst blog on finding peer support groups that discussing the value they can play in our life and outlines how to find one that is a good fit:

If you’re interested in getting more tips from Dr. Rick Hanson you can sign up for his free newsletter here:

– Gina

For More Information

Reduce Your Social Stress

Support for Depression; How to Get More

Bipolar Support


Hanson, R. (2016, October 21). Feel the Support.

Hari, J. (2015, June). Everything You Think You Know About Addiction Is Wrong.

Propst, S. (2006, February 8). Searching For Support? You Are Not Alone!