What is group psychotherapy?
The philosophy of group psychotherapy is similar to that of individual psychodynamic therapy in our belief that our past, our entire life story, continues to effect our feelings, thoughts and relationships in the present. But the therapy group provides an even richer and mutually beneficial forum for getting to know and understand yourself, your feelings and your relationships with others.
The group is confidential and members do not meet each other outside the group setting.
Who can group psychotherapy help?
Group therapy can help anyone who is feeling troubled, unhappy in their relationships, or who simply wants to gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationships with others in order to improve the quality of their lives.
In our experience group therapy is just as effective as individual therapy. Being a member of a therapy group can be even more rewarding as it provides an opportunity to learn about ourselves through developing our ability to connect and empathise with others as well as experiencing how others can connect and empathise with us.
How does group therapy work?
The therapy group usually has a maximum of seven members and meets weekly with the group therapist for 90-minute sessions. The group is an intimate and confidential place where members explore together a wide variety of issues in both their past and present lives such as problems to do with:
- deep-seated fears
- problems with confidence and loss of meaning.
Laughter and happiness are an important part of the therapy group experience, as over time, group members share with each other their most intimate thoughts and feelings. The learning to be gained from the here-and-now relationships in the group itself is valuable because we discover most about ourselves from the thoughts and feelings we experience during our interaction with others.
Over time in the group we develop a greater understanding of ourselves, our inner lives, our feelings about others and how others experience us.
How do I join a psychotherapy group?
A new member will have an individual assessment session with the therapist, followed by a number of individual sessions as preparation before joining the group. In these sessions we usually explore your past and present experiences of groups, your family of origin, your current family relationships, your romantic relationships, your friendship groups past and present, groups at work, etc and your hopes and fears about joining a therapy group.
The length of time in the group will depend on you but we usually recommend a minimum of eighteen months. Many group members find that their participation in the group greatly enriches their life. This is why group therapy has proved to be one of the most effective forms of therapy for personal growth and real change.
Group therapy sessions do cost less that individual sessions. This means joining a weekly therapy group is an affordable and effective option for people wanting psychotherapy. But group therapy is not suitable for everybody. You and your therapist will initially work together for a number of one to one sessions to decide if this is the right form of therapy for you and the difficulties you are facing.