What is Group Therapy and Counseling?
One of my specialties is working with clients in a group setting. I firmly believe in the age-old adage: “Together we can do what we cannot do alone.” Once you have been in therapy for a period of time, group therapy might become an option for you, either in conjunction with your individual therapy or on its own.
I find that group therapy is an incredible opportunity to dive more deeply into your understanding of yourself and to live a more fulfilling and happy life. You practice being vulnerable in the presence of other people and they do the same with you. Group therapy helps you learn more about yourself in a different manner and with different results than individual therapy. It is a unique way to find your feelings and process them in an enhanced way.
You can get to your own issues as you hear others tell their story or talk about their challenges in life. You can learn connection and practice being in relationship with others in a safe environment with safe boundaries and a sound structure. Group therapy is especially helpful for working on trauma resolution and shame reduction. When we reduce our shame, we have room to have more healthy relationships. Otherwise, shame can be like a blanket that covers us and keeps us small and contained within ourselves.
When Would I Go Into Group Therapy?
As I work with you in individual sessions, I am regularly assessing if you are a person who would benefit from a group experience. If so, I will discuss with you what group might be a fit for you among the groups I work with in my practice. No one ever has to go into a group if they don’t want to. My focus is always on your therapy, not my therapy for you.
I usually need to work with clients for no less than three months before considering bringing them into a group. Another person might work with me individually for over a year before considering a group. It is really based on you: your readiness, the appropriateness of the group for you and the issues that have brought you into therapy to begin with.
What Is Group Like?
My groups have anywhere between four to eight people in them. For greatest effectiveness, the maximum size of a group is eight. The duration of each group session is 75 minutes.
When you come into a group for the first time, everyone in the group will introduce themselves to you, tell you something about their story, their therapy experiences and what they are currently working on. When all the other group members have finished, you will then have an opportunity to share whatever you feel comfortable with of your own story. Once that happens, the work of the group has begun.
Often one person may start talking about an issue and then others will ask questions, give feedback, and consider how that same or a similar issue is affecting them. You will find that the experience is a strong give and take, where I play the role of both a therapist and a facilitator.
In addition to being a very healing way to get at your issues from a different perspective, group therapy can also be enjoyable and even, at times, fun. You will find that the work can be challenging, but the results are always gratifying.