Researching self-help/mutual aid groups and organizations: Many roads, one journey
Self-help and mutual help groups are defined and the status of the literature described and reviewed. Self-help groups are different from peer and nonprofessional services under the supervision of professionals. Controlled studies of mutual help groups may be neither possible nor desirable as the method of choice by which to understand the phenomena of interest. Other approaches to research, including worldly evaluations, and ways of construing self-help organizations, that is, as normative communities and political action organizations rather than as psychological treatments, are discussed, and suggestions for future research are presented.