Why join a therapy group? The reason is straightforward – to become more effective in relationships.
Many of the problems you face likely arose from what you absorbed in earlier formative groups, beginning with the family. You learn who you are through experience in groups. You also may find yourself attempting to solve your problems with a limited set of resources that you got in those earlier groups.
When you join a psychotherapy group, you inevitably find yourself relating to your group mates similarly as you do toward people in your everyday life. This becomes an invaluable opportunity to explore, experiment, and learn within the safe and containing boundaries of the therapy group.
Here’s a short list of what you can do in a group:
•Ask for and receive feedback about yourself •Learn effective ways of dealing with conflict and difference •Improve at handling tough emotions – both in yourself and in others. •Increase your level of spontaneity and engagement in social situations •Experiment and discover new ways of being with other people
Some things to consider before joining a group:
“What personal and relationship goals do I have in joining group?”
Research shows that the best outcomes from group therapy involve having some sense of what you want going in. In the preparatory sessions prior to beginning, I will help you clarify some tangible, practical goals.
“Do I have any questions about how group operates?”
Be sure to ask them.
“The thought of being in a group scares me.”
If so, that’s quite normal. In the preparation sessions for group, we can discuss what might be of particular concern for you. Sometimes people fear that a group will exert pressure to indiscriminately share everything. Your decision to speak - or not - is yours to make and will be respected.
Many people describe their time in group therapy as being enormously helpful - even thrilling – because it provides a powerful experience of changing relational patterns. As you interact with your group mates over time, you will discover and develop new capacities. Your experience in group can translate directly into dealing better with the people in your life especially in the areas you find challenging.