Group Therapy

Group counseling therapy is an opportunity to develop the support of others and the skills required to relate more effectively with other participants and, subsequently, with others in their lives.  The role of the group therapist is to encourage the sincere expression of feelings between participants while illustrating and correcting patterns which preserves dysfunctional relational behaviors.Group_Therapy

The members of a group are taught to proceed from a more authentic place of expression as well as understand the effect they might have on others – negatively and positively.  Group therapy can also create within itself a “healthier family” that models, for each member, alternative means of relating to those of their own familial experience.

Types of Group Therapy

Group therapy can be beneficial for a very diverse group of issues and mental health problems such as:

  • depression and anxiety
  • feelings of isolation
  • difficulties with interpersonal relationships
  • medical illness and physical problems
  • addictions
  • sexual problems
  • aging
  • death and other losses
  • lifestyle issues

What to Expect in Group Therapy

If the thought of being part of a group seems challenging or overwhelming, it may be because we have grown accustomed to behaving in certain ways around others in a group.  We may also have an aversion to being part of any group, albeit social, work-related or familial.  Group therapy is the place to address such aversions.  Chances are, your behavior patterns will emerge and be recognized for what they are; engaging, inviting, off-putting or whatever reactions other members might have.  But, this is where the challenge lies: to be told the effect you have on others and see it as an invitation to expound on it or alter patterns that were of disservice to you, and not view such input as criticism.  However, if a person was accustomed to being criticized, especially in the family, than he or she is sometimes likely to respond to constructive feedback as if it were hurtful criticism.

A well-run group challenges such responses and helps the individual expand their perceptions of themselves in a social situation, enabling them to accept feedback as a tool for developing more effective interaction: interaction that can be providing and nurturing rather than something to avoid or fear.

 

The courage to relate may be the greatest courage, and often the most elusive,

we’ll ever summon for ourselves. ~ Peter C. Turco

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