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GROW is a peer support and mutual aid organization for recovery from, and prevention of, serious mental illness. GROW was founded in Sydney, Australia in 1957 by Father Cornelius B. "Con" Keogh, a Roman Catholic priest, and psychiatric patients who sought help with their mental illness in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Consequently, GROW adapted many of AA's principles and practices. As the organization matured, GROW members learned of Recovery, Inc., an organization also created to help people with serious mental illness, and integrated pieces of its will-training methods.[1][2] As of 2005 there were more than 800 GROW groups active worldwide.[3] GROW groups are open to anyone who would like to join, though they specifically seek out those who have been psychiatrically hospitalized or are socioeconomically disadvantaged. Despite the capitalization, GROW is not an acronym.[4] Much of GROW's initial development was made possible with support of from Orval Hobart Mowrer, Reuben F. Scarf, W. Clement Stone and Lions Clubs International.[2]

Processes Edit

For more details on this topic, see Self-help groups for mental health: Group processes

GROW's literature includes the Twelve Stages of Decline, which indicate that emotional illness begins with self-centeredness, and the Twelve Steps of Personal Growth, a blend of AA's Twelve Steps and will-training methods from Recovery, Inc. GROW members view recovery as an ongoing life process rather than an outcome and are expected to continue following the Steps after completing them to maintain their mental health.[1][5][6]

The Twelve Stages of Decline

  1. We gave too much importance to ourselves and our feelings.
  2. We grew inattentive to God's presence and providence and God's natural order in our lives.
  3. We let competitive motives, in our dealings with others, prevail over our common personal welfare.
  4. We expressed our suppressed certain feelings against the better judgment of conscience or sound advice.
  5. We began thinking in isolation from others, following feelings and imagination instead of reason.
  6. We neglected the care and control of out bodies.
  7. We avoided recognizing our personal decline and shrank from the task of changing.
  8. We systematically disguised in our imaginations the real nature of our unhealthy conduct.
  9. We became a prey to obsessions, delusions and hallucinations.
  10. We practised irrational habits, under elated feelings of irresponsibility or despairing feelings of inability or compulsion.
  11. We rejected advice and refused to co-operate with help.
  12. We lost all insight into our condition.

The Twelve Steps of Recovery and Personal Growth

  1. We admitted we were inadequate or maladjusted to life.
  2. We firmly resolved to get well and co-operated with the help that we needed.
  3. We surrendered to the healing power of a wise and loving God.
  4. We made a personal inventory and accepted ourselves.
  5. We made a moral inventory and cleaned out our hearts.
  6. We endured until cured.
  7. We took care and control of our bodies.
  8. We learned to think by reason rather than by feelings and imagination.
  9. We trained our wills to govern our feelings.
  10. We took our responsible and caring place in society.
  11. We grew daily closer to maturity.
  12. We carried GROW's hopeful, healing, and transforming message to others in need.

GROW suggests atheists and agnostics use "We became inattentive to objective natural order in our lives" and "We trusted in a health-giving power in our lives as a whole" for the Second Stage of Decline and Third Step of Personal Growth, respectively.[6]

Results of qualitative analysis Edit

Statistical evaluations of interviews with GROW members found they identified self-reliance, industriousness, peer support, and gaining a sense of personal value or self-esteem as the essential ingredients of recovery.[3] Similar evaluations of GROW's literature revealed thirteen core principles of the GROW's program, they are reproduced in the list below by order of relevance with a quote from GROW's literature explaining the principle.[7]

  1. Be Reasonable: "We learned to think by reason rather than by feelings and imagination."
  2. Decentralize, participate in community: "...decentralization from self and participation in a community of persons is the very process of recovery or personal growth."
  3. Surrender to the Healing Power of a wise and loving God: "God, who made me and everything connected with me, can overcome any and every evil that affects my life."
  4. Grow Closer to Maturity: "Maturity is a coming to terms with oneself, with others, and with life as a whole."
  5. Activate One's Self to Recover and Grow "Take your fingers off your pulse and start living."
  6. Become Hopeful: "I can, and ultimately will, become completely well; God who made me can restore me and enable me to do my part. The best in life and love and happiness is ahead of me."
  7. Settle for Disorder: "Settle for disorder in lesser things for the sake of order in greater things; and therefore be content to be discontent in many things."

  1. Be Ordinary: "I can do whatever ordinary good people do, and avoid whatever ordinary good people avoid. My special abilities will develop in harmony only if my foremost aim is to be a good ordinary human being."
  2. Help Others: We carried the GROW message to others in need.
  3. Accept One's Personal Value: "No matter how bad my physical, mental, social or spiritual condition I am always a human person, loved by God and a connecting link between persons; I am still valuable, my life has a purpose, and I have my unique place and my unique part in my Creator's own saving, healing and transforming work."
  4. Use GROW: "Use the hopeful and cheerful language of GROW."
  5. Gain Insight: "We made moral inventory and cleaned out our hearts."
  6. Accept Help: "We firmly resolved to get well and co-operated with the help that we needed."

Effectiveness Edit

For more details on this topic, see Self-help groups for mental health: Effectiveness

Participation in GROW has been shown to decrease the number of hospitalizations per member as well as the duration of hospitalizations when they occur. Members report an increased sense of security and self-esteem, and decreased anxiety.[8] A longitudinal study of GROW membership found time involved in the program correlated with increased autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, self-acceptance and social skills.[9] Women in particular experience positive identity transformation, build friendships and find a sense of community in GROW groups.[10]

Literature Edit

The Program of Growth to Maturity, generally referred to as the "Blue Book," is the principal literature used in GROW groups. The book is divided into three sections based on the developmental stages of members: "Beginning Growers," "Progressing Growers" and "Seasoned Growers." Additionally, there are three related books written by Cornelius B. Keogh, and one by Anne Waters, used in conjunction with the Blue Book.

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Kurtz, Linda F., Chambon, Adrienne (1987). Comparison of self-help groups for mental health. Health & Social Work 12 (4): 275–283.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Keogh, C.B. (1979). GROW Comes of Age: A Celebration and a Vision!, Sydney, Australia: GROW Publications.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Corrigan, Patrick, Slopen, Natalie; Garcia, Gabriela; Keogh, Cornelius B.; Keck, Lorraine (December 2005). Some Recovery Processes in Mutual-Help Groups for Persons with Mental Illness; II: Qualitative Analysis of Participant Interviews. Community Mental Health Journal 41 (6): 721–735.
  4. Rappaport, J., Seidman, E.; Toro, P. A.; McFadden, L. S.; Reischl, T. M.; Robers, L. J.; Salem D. A.; Stein, C. H.; Zimmerman, M. A.; (Winter 1985). Collaborative research with a mutual help organization. Social Policy 15 (3): 12–24.
  5. Clay, Sally (2005). "Chapter 7: GROW in Illinois" On Our Own, Together: Peer Programs for People with Mental Illness (PDF), 141–158, Nashville, Tennessee: Vanderbilt University Press.
  6. 6.0 6.1 GROW (1983). GROW: World Community Mental Health Movement: The Program of Growth to Maturity, Sydney, Australia: GROW Publications.
  7. Corrigan, Patrick W., Calabrese, Joseph D; Diwan, Sarah E.; Keogh, Cornelius, B.; Keck, Lorraine; Mussey, Carol (2002). Some Recovery Processes in Mutual-Help Groups for Persons with Mental Illness; I: Qualitative Analysis of Program Materials and Testimonies. Community Mental Health Journal 38 (4): 287–301.
  8. Kennedy, Mellen (1990). "Psychiatric Hospitalizations of GROWers" in Second Biennial Conference on Community Research and Action, East Lansing, Michigan. {{{booktitle}}}.  cited in Kyrouz, Elaina M.; Humphreys, Keith; Loomis, Colleen (October 2002). "Chapter 4: A Review of Research on the Effectiveness of Self-help Mutual Aid Groups" White, Barbara J.; Madara, Edward J. American Self-Help Group Clearinghouse Self-Help Group Sourcebook, 7th edition, 71–86, American Self-Help Group Clearinghouse. URL accessed 2008-01-06.
  9. Finn, Lisabeth D., Bishop, Brian; Sparrow, Neville H. (May 2007). Mutual help groups: an important gateway to wellbeing and mental health. Australian Health Review 31 (2): 246–255.
  10. . "Women's experiences at GROW: 'There's an opportunity there to grow way beyond what you thought you could...'" (PDF). Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Applied Psychology (Community) School of Psychology, Faculty of Arts. Victoria University, Footscray, Victoria, Australia.

External links Edit

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