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Social supports are a very vital part of our lives. According to studies, people with many social contacts live longer and have better health. (Karren, Smith, Gordon, & Frandsen, 2014) Social supports can include family, friends, colleagues, spiritual or church organizations, neighbors, school mates, etc. However, what about the people who struggle to have social supports and remain isolated? According to Karen et al. (2014), “People who are socially isolated and feel lonely have poorer health and die earlier”. (p 232)


According to Dr. Pelletier, (Karren at el., 2014) “A sense of belonging and connection to other people appears to be a basic human need – as basic as food and shelter. In fact, social support may be one of the critical elements distinguishing those who remain healthy from those who become ill.” (p. 233) There is a strong suggestion that social support and health are related to psychological and physical health. Those who have positive social supports have fewer issues with loneliness, stress, anxiety, and depression. Social supports tend to increase psychological health because it gives an overall feeling of positivity, a sense of confidence, stability, control of one’s surroundings, and overall well-being. (Karren at el., 2014)


Social supports also help with recovery from illness and wounds to the body. Social supports may even influence others to change their unhealthy behaviors and lead to healthier lifestyles. There is a collection of evidence that supports that social supports protect people in crisis, protect them from mental and physical diseases, and helps with longer life. (Karren at el., 2014)


According to Karren at el., (2014) there are four general types of support that people need to provide the substance for intimacy and attachment:


Emotionally – providing empathy, compassion, trust, love, care, sharing, being valued, feeling worthy, belonging


Instrumental – help or services offered, physical and material assistance


Informational – advice, information, suggestion, communication, companionship, guidance


Appraisal – constructive feedback for self-evaluation, advice, encouragement (p. 233)

“Having a good support network constitutes the single most powerful protection against becoming traumatized. In order for one to recover, mind, body, and soul, one needs to be convinced that it is safe to let go. The role of supportive relationships is to provide physical and emotional safety, including safety from feeling shamed, admonished, or judged, and to reinforce the courage to tolerate, face and process the reality of what has happened. Many people do not have support or have learned that relationships are unsafe, in this case, it is encouraged for one to find a good therapist who is specialized in trauma”. (Van der Kolk, B. A. (2014). The Body Keeps The Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma. New York: Viking.)


Please see more about Tiffany or Positive Supports for more information.

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