Group Therapy—What’s In It for ME?
The need to belong is one of our most primitive human drives. We can love pets, work, hobbies, etc., but they can’t replace satisfying relationships.This brings good news and bad news. The bad news: there is no reasonable alternative. Relationships are the only game in town. We may as well get used to them. The good news is that relationship skills can be built. And nobody has to do it perfectly. If you are having relationship problems, group therapy is a good place to work on them. Think of it like going to the relationship gym.
How does group therapy work?
A professional therapist screens and brings together appropriate clients for group work. Group therapy can be short term and time-limited, or ongoing and open-ended. Most meet weekly and have three – twelve members.While process groups have a supportive element, they primarily facilitate self-awareness and introspection, which results in deep change. The primary purpose of a process group is to explore your way of being in relationships. Process groups are most useful in terms of long-term therapeutic growth and change.Process Group Therapy: What’s in it for ME?
Group Therapy For Individuals
Process group therapy is a learning laboratory. As you share life experiences and bond with each other, your strengths and weaknesses gradually unfold. You are expected to give honest feedback and to admit when you feel hurt or angry. Socially, many of us have been taught that speaking about negative feelings isn’t “nice.” In group therapy, you get to break the rules.
Others get to break the rules as well. You will receive feedback from them, which provides a unique opportunity to see yourself compared to how others see you.
Are you experiencing a little anxiety as you read this? Relax. My job is to keep the room safe. I provide guidelines that maintain the safety of the group. For example, you will be encouraged to focus on your feelings, thoughts, and needs while being sensitive to the needs of other members. Attacking, dominating, and telling others what to do are not permitted. Confidentiality is paramount. Gossip outside of meetings destroys the integrity of the group. Unfinished business about the group needs to be brought back to the next session and processed directly.
Group Therapy For Couples
Everything that applies to process group therapy for individuals applies to couples group psychotherapy, and more. Couples Group Psychotherapy is a supportive process group that meets monthly for eleven months. This group is a rare opportunity to build your relationship skill in the context of a supportive community of three-five couples. This group offers the benefits of a process group and couples therapy all in one.
Couples group therapy is a safe harbor to sort out your marital difficulties. You will receive acceptance and support as you learn and practice a new way of relating, while exploring themes that are universal to all marriages/committed relationships.
Benefits of Group
Upon entering group therapy, you will find people who have similar struggles. This alone provides tremendous relief and hope. You being there for other group members increases your sense of wholeness and well-being. Building social skills empowers you in your relationships.
Participating in a group is like being part of a family. You will learn to trust others as you experience this new kind of family. If you are willing to tolerate the discomfort of change, deeper meaning and more intimate relationships will enrich your life.
Supportive Group Therapy
A support group is another type of group. The main goal is support, rather than insight into one’s interpersonal style. Some of these groups focus on a particular issue such as bereavement or weight management. Members air their frustrations and sustain each other through difficult times. These groups are for people who are not sure they wish to commit to an ongoing process group, but need a place to work through specific problems.
Workshops include education and experiential work. We explain simple therapeutic concepts and invite audience members to ask questions and taste the therapeutic experience. This includes processing when needed, self-disclosure, open discussion, and healthy laughter. In these workshops, you can ease into speaking up or you can simply observe. The workshop is a soft and non-threatening introduction to the culture of therapy. A Vision For Your Relationship Workshop is a good idea if you’re new to relationship therapy.