Group therapy can be an adjunct to individual therapy or can stand alone as an effective and lower cost alternative.
It is suitable for adults of any age who have problems with depression, low self esteem, social anxiety, assertiveness, fear of emotions and difficulties with intimacy in relationships.
Group is not for those who are currently abusing drugs or alcohol, are feeling too overwhelmed by their problems to focus on others, or who have major disturbances of their thought processes.
How Group Works.
The behaviour and feelings of group members mirror in important ways behaviour and feelings outside the group. Consequently, the group provides a setting in which to examine patterns of behaviour in relationships. The group also provides a safe place where members learn to identify, understand and express their feelings. The therapist helps facilitate this process.
Members make a commitment to talk about the important issues in their lives that cause difficulties in relating to others and in living life more fully. Members disclose at their own pace. They are also encouraged to talk about the thought and feelings they have about each other and what is happening in the group process. A commitment to real openness and honesty among group members is the key to effective group therapy.
The spirit of community which develops in group provides an experience of belonging many people have missed. This contributes to the sense of emotional support and enhances the process of psychological change and growth.
Group consists of up to 8 members plus the therapist. Meetings are held on a weekly basis and last approximately two hours. Groups are ongoing with new members joining as vacancies occur. There are a number of ground rules in place to foster the trust and stability necessary for group to work properly.
- Confidentiality: identity of group members and what is said in group is kept strictly confidential.
- Attendance: regular and punctual attendance is expected.
- Commitment: members are asked to make an initial three month commitment and give a months notice before leaving.
- No outside contacts: members don’t socialize with each other between sessions.
There is an initial 1-1 interview with the therapist to determine whether group is the right environment to address the particular issues prospective members are dealing with.