Mutual aid fellowships have been shown to improve outcomes for those with co-occurring substance use and mental illness disorders. Processes associated with usefulness include helper therapy (the assumption of a helping role to foster commitment) and reciprocal learning (the sharing of problems and solutions among members). The present qualitative investigation used focus groups comprised a subset of participants in Double Trouble in Recovery (DTR), a 12-step mutual aid group for those with co-occurring disorders, to gather their subjective perceptions of the groups. Participants emphasized that in linking them to others with similar problems, the DTR groups played a vital emotional role in their lives and provided a needed venue for information sharing that might have been otherwise unavailable.
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