The Problem of Isolation and the Power of Groups
An all too common problem for hurting parents is isolation. Our guilt, shame, and embarrassment cause us to withdraw. Our tears are so close to the surface we don’t want to talk about our sons or daughters with others.
It’s our strong belief that we’re not created to live life alone but in community. Life with all its joys and sorrows is to be experienced with others. Mutual encouragement and shared trials help to lighten our load and increase our strength for the journey. This is where the power of support groups can help when the pain is too deep.
Active Support Groups
Active Groups by State and City. Online groups are listed at the end of the State listings. Contact the person listed by email to find out specific information about their group.
- Surprise – Sandi Zagel, email@example.com (online for now)
- Forest – Carla Nimocks, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Temecula – Maryellen Lo Casto, email@example.com, (See Online Groups for more information)
- Brookville – Bill and Ann Spratt, firstname.lastname@example.org (See online groups for more information)
- Clermont – Catherine Cornell-Dunn, email@example.com
- Lady Lake – North Lake Presbyterian Church, Tony and Betti Cuomo, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Avalon Park – Tom and Dena Yohe, email@example.com
- Waterford Lakes – Tom and Dena Yohe, firstname.lastname@example.org (See online groups for more information)
- Winter Garden – Lisa Philippone, email@example.com
- Windermere – Beth Denhof, Bethdenhof@msn.com, and Kelly Muscaro, firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Villages – New Covenant United Methodist Church, Ellen Pollock, email@example.com
- Atlanta – Fair and John Brocard, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Augusta – Ivey Gibb, email@example.com (see online groups for more information)
- Buford– Curt Chandler, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Canton – Jeff Sandlin, Sandlinhouse7@gmail.com
- Lilburn – Tracy Stroud, email@example.com (see online groups for more information)
- Wichita – Alicia Snyder, firstname.lastname@example.org (in Spanish)
- Grinnell – Lisa VanSant, Vansant6@netins.net
- Rochester – Kathy Tufts, email@example.com
- Milwaukie – Chris White, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Greer – Patti Massullo, email@example.com
Nashville – Melinda Brown, Melinda.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Corinth – Allison Leonard, email@example.com (see online groups for more information)
- Tom and Dena Yohe, 2nd and 4th Wednesday evenings, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dena Yohe and Beth Denhof, 2nd and 4th Wednesdays Daytime group hope@hopeforhurtingparents.
com and email@example.com
- Sandi Zagel, 1st and 3rd Thursday evenings, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jeff Sandlin, Weekly Monday evenings, Sandlinhouse7@gmail.com (Spring and Fall 10-week programs)
- Bill and Ann Spratt, 1st and 3rd Tuesday evenings, email@example.com
- Tracy Stroud, 1st and 3rd Tuesday evenings, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Allison Leonard, Weekly Monday evenings, email@example.com
- Tracey Barracca,1st/3rd Wednesdays, eating disorders, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Maryellen Lo Casto, 1st/3rd Thursdays, email@example.com
- Japan, Yokosuka Naval Base, Kanagawa Prefecture, Chapel of Hope – Jamie and Brendan Kruse, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are fortunate enough to be near a support group, please try it. If not, consider one of our online groups. You may also want to check out Celebrate Recovery, Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, NAMI Family to Family or start a group yourself.
Start a Support Group
Do you long to be part of a group just for parents that cover a broad range of issues, while also allowing for your Christian perspective, scripture, and prayer?
We’ve been facilitating this kind of group in our home for over eight years and it’s where Hope for Hurting Parents support groups began. When parents began asking about groups in their location and there weren’t any, we decided to write a guide to help them start one.
We recognize that what we do and how we do it – the frequency our group meets and where – may not fit every situation. Feel free to structure your group as you see best. Our goal is to have more support groups all over the country. There are many parents in need, with few resources available.
It’s not our intention to create high content-driven groups. Rather, these groups are safe, confidential, loving communities for hurting parents to find the encouragement, resources, acceptance, comfort, and hope they need.
Our goal is to give parents the opportunity to share honestly about their feelings with others who understand, won’t think less of them, or give pat answers.
A few of the 22 topics are: grief and loss, worry and anxiety, enabling, fear, communication, and anger. You may use them in any order you choose. There’s enough material for a whole year if you met twice a month, once in November and December due to the holidays. You can determine how often you want to meet.
Register your support group to stay connected with Hope for Hurting Parents and have access to additional help for your group.
Purchase the complete Facilitator Guide and Parent Notebooks
Spanish Edition Now Available
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Register Your Support Group
Parent & Facilitator Testimonials
“I really appreciated the topic being printed and handed out. I had something tangible I could hang on to and look at again and again during times of crisis, offering scripture and hope. Most of all the group supported me with their prayers, which helped me to regain my focus on God’s strength instead of my own. I now realize my son’s situation is not hopeless.” – Parent
“I really needed this tonight. Being with others who understand and don’t judge me is so freeing. My heart feels so much lighter. I really need the topic of detachment, too. I have a lot to work on, but now I feel I can do it.” – Parent
“We cannot thank you enough for your ministry. Over the past year, as we worked through the various stages of facing our son’s choices, you have been there alongside us. Your ministry and group have been a real safe haven for us to catch our breaths.” – Parent
“The content is very rich and filled with wisdom. We have all felt that the material is very insightful and useful for us in our journey. There are many times we have shared how ‘right on’ the material is in helping us navigate this uncharted territory.”– Group Facilitator
“One woman in my group commented, ‘Everyone needs a group like Hope for Hurting Parents.’ She is right. I have talked to women in other states and other parts of Florida who have never heard it and are interested in having one. There is a need for groups like these to love, support, pray, and encourage one another through our struggles.” – Group Facilitator
“The topics are so relevant in your guide. I think every parent experiencing these types of situations can relate to the topics at some point in their journey with their adult child. Facilitating a Hope for Hurting Parents group is very meaningful to me. God keeps leading me to others who are hurting. God used my situation to give me more compassion and encourage others in similar situations.”– Group Facilitator
Ministry Leader Testimonials
“I have had the privilege of getting to know Tom and Dena Yohe, and their ministry, Hope for Hurting Parents. The Yohes have a tremendous testimony and are faithful witnesses to the healing power of Christ. We at New Covenant United Methodist Church have two Hope for Hurting Parents groups now, and we seek their wise counsel and advice as we move through this process. I cannot think of better representatives for the Kingdom than the Yohes that we can journey alongside.”
“The beauty of what happens in a Hope for Hurting Parents support group has been so inspiring to us at Village View Church. The group is a safe place for participants to take their hurt, let it out, then leave with the hope they need to make it through another day with the strength of Jesus Christ guiding every step.”
“A Hope for Hurting Parents group provides immeasurable support, guidance, hope, and care to those who attend. I have watched and witnessed the profound effect a Hope for Hurting Parents group provides to the hurting parents of our church community.”
“I would like to recommend Tom and Dena Yohe’s ministry, Hope for Hurting Parents. In the words of one of the parents attending the group, “I love these two people. They have helped me so much to understand my role as a parent. I felt like I was really helped. It really is important that I attend the sessions’”ough another day with the strength of Jesus Christ guiding every step.”
“Tom and Dena Yohe have lived through the ups and downs, and the hurts and joys of life with a prodigal. All they have learned is now helping so many others through their wonderful ministry Hope for Hurting Parents. They not only have wise encouragement, but also powerful prayers.”
“As a parent of two sons who struggle with mental health concerns, I personally know the value of a caring, knowledgeable support network. This group provides that and more. The discussions are open and honest; the information shared is practical and understandable; the relationships formed are invaluable. I highly recommend the group to my clients who are parents seeking to love their child well in the difficult times.”
“No one should suffer alone. This support group was designed to come alongside of hurting parents. It is SAFE and parents can come with their authentic selves to receive love and support without judgement. I know of no other group like it. I personally have felt buoyed up and prayed for during some of my most difficult parenting days and continue to find those who supported me a continued support today. It is a gift to carry one another’s burdens and share in their pain side by side. It is an experience of Jesus being present to heal the brokenhearted.”
“These support groups provide a safe place to feel, share and encourage one another as hurting parents who are on a journey through parenting challenges with adolescent or adult children. The groups are warm, intimate and confidential. The facilitators guide parents, with hope, through their many resources. I often refer hurting parents to HHP as it is a crucial piece of the healing process. I’m excited to see this group multiply and bless others!”