Group Therapy

Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy that involves a trained, experienced, and licensed therapist working with several people at the same time.  This often also makes group therapy a more affordable option than individual therapy (it does not, however, make it any less effective or beneficial).  Groups can be as small as three or four people, but for the most part, groups that I offer involve around six individuals.

It will be important to discuss if your issues or problems are a good “fit” for a specific group.  Many people find it's helpful to participate in both group therapy and individual psychotherapy, either conjointly, or one following the end of the other.  Participating in both types of psychotherapy can boost your opportunity to make valuable changes.  Sometimes, if your progress in individual psychotherapy feels stalled, joining a group may “jump-start” your personal growth.  Group therapy can also provide a setting in which to “practice” certain life skills, such as speaking your mind in the face of anxiety or revealing your emotions to others.  Please go HERE for my in-depth article about the benefits of group therapy.

Just like individual psychotherapy, group typically meets once a week.  Groups, however, generally have a longer time commitment.  I structure my groups for a 1.5 hours session.    

Is Group Therapy for You?

The thought of joining a group of strangers to talk about your most personal and inner experience is often met with panic and great discomfort.  This initial anxiety is quite normal as most people have never been exposed to a group therapy environment and don’t know what to expect. My experience is that within a few sessions members often get comfortable enough to interact in the group.  Remember, as a group therapist I am trained to help the group develop an environment conducive to doing the work of personal growth.  All good groups have a core value of an atmosphere of safety and respect.  I will help members to give feedback in a direct, yet respectful way so that you can understand and utilize new awareness and experiences.  I will reflect back to the group specific dynamics and themes that I feel important for each group member to be aware of and/or process further.

If you decide to give group therapy a try, remember that you control, and are ultimately responsible for, what, how much, and when you tell the group about yourself.  The more you become involved, the more you are likely to benefit. You can benefit from the group even during sessions when you say little but listen carefully to others.  Most people find that they have important things in common with other group members, and as others work on concerns, you can learn much about yourself.  In such regard, others serve as “mirrors” that reflect aspects of yourself that you can recognize and explicitly choose if you want to modify or change. Group members may bring up issues that strike a chord with you, which you might not have been aware or of known now to bring up yourself. An enhanced acceptance of self and others occurs as one learns to relate more honestly and directly with others in the group. The group provides an opportunity for personal experimentation - it is a safe place to risk enough to learn more about yourself.