I often say to people “group will change your life… if you want it to.” I’ve been seeing it happen for 15 or so years now.
Group therapy is nothing like the media tends to portray it, or popular culture conceives it. There’s no screaming and yelling, flipping chairs, drooling catatonics, hopeless obsessive-compulsives, or any other dramatic displays.
Group is a mirror for ourselves in the outside world. Things we routinely experience in our lives and relationships, whether we intend it or not, show up and get played out within the group dynamic. Seeing this in action allows for real-time insight into our own contributions, and the often hidden (unconscious) factors behind our patterns of perceiving and relating.
Safely working through personal and interpersonal struggles of life together helps members learn how to more skillfully navigate those aspects of living that the handling of which were not so healthily modeled. Participants learn to manage and express emotion, engage in disagreement, handle miscommunication and misunderstanding, establish boundaries and identify and negotiate needs– without victimizing or being victimized, persecuting or feeling persecuted, rescuing or seeking rescue.
It’s also a unique avenue for receiving genuine and consistent validation of who we really are. In my experience, there are very few places in everyday life where this happens.
So who does group therapy?
- People who feel disconnected or socially isolated and realize– or need help realizing that while change and growth is ultimately up to us, we need others to truly know ourselves, and grow.
- Intelligent, motivated people who see problematic patterns in how they interact with the world and want to make changes that last.
- People who have experienced significant pain and difficulty in their lives, past or present, and have at least a faint awareness that working through it with others via healthy risk and vulnerability fosters real healing.
Any and all problems in living and loving are appropriate for exploration in group therapy. Members decide for themselves each group what they wish to bring up, ask for, offer and experience in the process.
Currently I conduct one weekly 90 min group on Wednesday evenings. It is an open ended group, meaning, it’s up to each member to decide how long they wish to participate, and the group as a whole to decide how long to continue as a group.
Suitability and readiness for group is typically explored during individual therapy. It involves an 8 session initial commitment, and a set of agreements that help establish cohesion, trust, reliability, and consistency.
Openings in this group are infrequent. This, however, allows time to do some good individual therapy work and prepare so one is ready to join when an opening comes about.
Contact me @ 615 915-3892 if you are interested in group therapy.