Group is for everyone. Think about it, everyone deals with groups (family, work, social settings) and everyone has room to improve in their ability to relate with others, whether increasing vulnerability or having better boundaries, understanding one’s feelings and sharing them, or being more assertive.
Expand Well Being offers group counseling for relapse prevention, overcoming depression, self-compassion and personal growth.
How is group counseling different from individual counseling?
There are a number of differences: A group is one step closer to real life than individual therapy. You are dealing with real people rather than only a mental health professional. In a healthy group you have many different perspectives that provide for more feedback, exploration and experimentation. Group members learn from seeing others work. More people mean more transference and thus an emotionally rich environment. Group counseling offers the ability to work on, express and tolerate emotions in oneself and in others. Group therapy is a cost effective form of treatment.
How does confidentiality work for groups?
In my process groups, I ask members not to share any personal or identifying information about group members. They can share their own experiences but not those about other group members. I also ask that if group members share anything with each other outside of the group, it is imperative that they bring this discussion back to the group to maintain the cohesiveness within the group.
What actually happens in a process group?
Group members are coached to check in with themselves moment by moment and take note of their feelings, thoughts, and associations in reaction to what is happening within the group. There usually is a focus on the "here and now" as well as issues each group member is having in their lives.
The group provides a secure, private and therapeutic space where difficulties can be examined, understood and worked through. New perspectives and ways of thinking are discovered which usually bring with them lasting change. Psychodynamic thinking understands links between the past and the present, and how our experiences today are influenced by our experiences in the past.
Talking through problems and anxieties within a group setting is helpful to achieve clarification and resolve.
Groups are amazing!
We are all born into a group and function in groups daily. Group counseling is a place where one can learn and grow in ways that the original family was unable to provide. Additionally, most people struggle with either conflict or intimacy if not both. Group is a great way to better understand how to relate with others and work on more effective ways to love and fight.
BENEFITS OF GROUP COUNSELING - Group therapy helps you realize you’re not alone. - Group therapy facilitates giving and receiving support. - Group therapy helps you find your “voice.” - Group therapy helps you relate to others (and yourself) in healthier ways. - Group therapy provides a safety net.
Photo by Ms. Sue Huan
Group counseling usually consists of 5-10 members who typically meet weekly for 90-minute sessions. Members are encouraged to express their thoughts and feelings freely and honestly in order to provide opportunities to learn with and from other people, to understand one’s own patterns of thought and behavior and those of others. Through the group sharing process, members connect with the common humanity we all share.