What is SHARE!?

SHARE! stands for Self-Help And Recovery Exchange. SHARE! is a non-profit organization that operates two community self-help support group centers in Los Angeles, California: SHARE! Culver City and SHARE! Downtown.  Together SHARE! Culver City and SHARE! Downtown currently host over 120 self-help support groups (including 12-step groups) meetings each week. SHARE! programs include:

What is SHARE!’s Mission?

The mission of SHARE! the Self-Help And Recovery Exchange is to help people in Los Angeles pursue personal growth and change. SHARE! empowers people to change their own lives and provides them a loving, safe, non-judgmental place where they can find community, information and support. 

Where are SHARE!’s updated meeting directories?

PDF Download: Dec. 2017 SHARE! Culver City Meeting Directory
PDF Download: Dec. 2017 SHARE! Downtown Directory
PDF Download: Healing Childhood Trauma Self-Help Support Groups in Los Angeles
PDF Download: Dec. 2017 Dual Diagnosis

What is a self-help support group? 

  • The group’s purpose is to pursue personal growth and change.
  • Everyone in the group is a peer.
  • There is sharing and/or interaction between members.
  • Decisions about the group are made by the group.
  • Group leadership is non-professional. Any leadership positions in the group are shared or rotated. Each member of the group could become a leader with minimal training.
  • The group is not dependent on a particular person for its continued existence.
  • Each member of the group has a right to due process in disputes with the group.
  • Dues and fees are nominal, reflecting group expenses.

How do I attend a self-help support group? 

Just show up! Self-help groups are run by peers. The person leading the meeting that day will usually read some material explaining how the meeting works. Some of the material can be read by other members of the group. In most meetings everyone then gets a chance to share about how they’re dealing with the issue.  At some point, most meetings will pass a basket to collect donations. SHARE! has a suggests donation of $2 to $5 per person per meeting, however, no one is turned away for lack of funds.

How long are the self-help support group meet­ings?

Meetings are usually one and a half hours long. Some are a little longer—two hours— or a little shorter—one hour.

How do I know if the meeting is right for me?

We suggest you attend a group six times before you decide whether it’s helping you.   Self-help support groups are not like classes or other formal learning experiences. After six meetings most people exclaim. “Wow, I have really changed from where I started.” They then continue to go because they want to change more.

How often should I go to a meeting?

It’s up to you how often you attend. In the addiction programs, people will suggest you attend 90 meetings in 90 days to begin with.  Self-help support groups for diseases tend to meet once a month. Many people attend a weekly meeting or two or three. You get to decide what works for you.

What if I have to miss a meeting?

Not a problem.  We all have reasons we can’t get to meetings occasionally.

What is a 12-Step program?

A 12-Step program is a self-help support group program that follows the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous or has steps that are derived from those of Alcoholics Anonymous.  Twelve-Step programs are spiritual programs and often use the concept of a higher power or God to help overcome problems in one’s life. Twelve Step programs use the 12 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous or traditions derived from Alcoholics Anonymous as the guide to how their program is run.

Are there alternatives to 12-Step programs?

Yes, almost every 12-Step program has alternative programs that address the issue through different means.  Call SHARE! and we can connect you to the non-12 Step meetings and/or to the 12-Step ones.

How many different types of self-help groups are there?

There are several thousand different types of self-help support groups.  Los Angeles County has nearly 800 different types addressing 400 different issues.

Do all the meetings meet at SHARE!?

No way! There are meetings in every neighborhood in every city in Los Angeles County. There are more than 12,000 self-help support groups that SHARE! knows of.  For referrals to any group in Los Angeles, please call SHARE! toll free at 1-877-SHARE-49.

How do I get my self-help support group added to SHARE!’s Self-Help Referral Service?

Call SHARE! and we will be happy to list your program or meeting and begin making referrals to it.  The meetings must meet SHARE!’s definition of a self-help support group in order for SHARE! to refer people to it.  If your meeting does not meet SHARE!’s definition, don’t worry.  SHARE! has an open literature policy at its centers. We are happy to post your flyers for workshops, other groups or anything else.

What is SHARE!’s Open Literature policy?

Anyone can put flyers and other literature out at SHARE! self-help centers, as long as it does not promote smoking, alcohol, drug use, gambling (including raffles and door prizes) or have sexual content. If you email SHARE! an event or other flyer, we will print and post a black and white copy of your announcement. Anyone can drop off and put out materials at SHARE!. Any flyers we receive thru the mail will be put out as well.  Save time and trees by not including a cover letter.

Why is SHARE! spelled with an exclamation point?

When SHARE! started we needed a name and came up with SHARE for Self-Help And Recovery Exchange.  When we went to register the name with the County, we discovered several other non-profits with the name SHARE who had to agree to our use. We liked SHARE so much, we did not want to change it so we added the exclamation point, so SHARE! can be differentiated.

How much do self-help support groups cost?

Very little, but each group has it’s own policy. Many groups pass a basket for donations.  Typical donations are between $1 and $5.  SHARE! recommends at least $2, if you can afford it. No one is turned away for lack of funds. Some groups, particularly disease groups, may ask you to join a national organization for up to several hundred dollars a year.  They usually have provision for people who cannot afford the yearly membership.

Want More Information?
Call 1-305-8878 or write info@shareselfhelp.org