As part of the Serithi project a longitudinal study of HIV positive women diagnosed during pregnancy, support groups for HIV-positive women were established in Mamelodi and Atteridgeville (Tshwane). Eighty-eight women participated in these groups during 2005, with the groups being facilitated by Masters Psychology students. This study explores therapeutic processes in these support groups. Yalom’s therapeutic factors were used as the underlying theory. These are factors that Yalom advances as therapeutic processes in understanding group psychotherapy. The process notes of the Masters Student facilitators, together with the interviews that were conducted with the women after the support group experience, were analysed to identify therapeutic processes that manifested themselves in the support group experience. Qualitative methods were used to collect data and thematic analysis was utilised to analyse the data. The research results revealed that support groups are therapeutic, in the sense that ten of the twelve therapeutic factors advanced by Yalom proved to have been made manifest, or demonstrated, within these groups. These are: altruism, group cohesion, interpersonal learning input, interpersonal learning output, guidance, identification, family re-enactment, instillation of hope and existential factors. The women reported having felt a sense of relief from being part of a group of people who experienced similar issues. They also reported that they learnt from each other. This gave them hope and an understanding that, even though there may be people going through the same problems as they are, they still need to face life alone. The women reported feeling a sense of self-worth from helping others, which contributed to rebuilding their self-esteem. These results indicate that support groups can be therapeutic for the people involved. They can be used to guide support group facilitators with regards to what to look for when facilitating groups. They can also assist policy makers in developing guidelines for the facilitation of support groups in order for the participants to obtain maximum benefit from their support group experience.