Supporting others – Supporting oneself: Members’ evaluations of supportive communication in Al-Anon mutual-aid groups

  • Venla Kuuluvainen University of Tampere
  • Pekka Isotalus University of Tampere
Keywords: Mutual-aid group, Supportive communication, Interpersonal communication, Alcoholics’ significant others, Al-Anon


Al-Anon is a mutual-aid group for the significant others of alcoholics. In Al-Anon, members benefit from receiving support from others as well as providing it themselves. Focusing specifically on supportive communication, this study aims to determine the elements of support Al-Anon members consider helpful in the groups and to discover why these features are considered to be helpful by group members. The data comprises member interviews and written answers that were qualitatively analysed using an inductive approach. According to the results, the core of supportive communication in the groups focuses on the conception that supporting others equals ultimately supporting oneself.

Thematic Section