Group Therapy: Forming Connections

April 19, 2018

 

 

Often times, we crave intimacy with our families, friends and significant others, yet we live a life in which we continually limit the opportunity for such intimacy.  We fill our time with “busy” and live in a state of “overwhelmed” constantly trying to do the things we need to do to just keep up with it all. We keep track of our friends on social media versus having face-to-face interaction. We all have many people in our lives that we care for, yet we don’t make the time to see regularly. Or they don’t seem to have the time for us, which leaves us feeling insignificant to them and without a deep connection.

 

Group therapy can provide this type of deep connection on a consistent basis for people.  Group members are people you can count on seeing regularly that have a similar value in intimacy. Is it artificial because it is “therapy” and you’re paying for it?  No. On the contrary, there is nothing more real. Each member is there seeking a similar connection and has a commitment to continually embark on self-improvement and inner depth.

 

Process groups are a very different experience.  In a true process therapy group the members often come to the group with their unique goals, often goals that are not identical to other group members. The group becomes a social microcosm, that is, a miniature version of each individual’s real life outside of the group.  Whoever you are in the real world will also emerge in the group. If you tend to be shy and reserved in your day-to-day life, you will likely be experienced this way in a group. If you tend to monopolize conversations with friends, at work, etc. you will also do so in a group. However group, unlike the real world, offers a safe place to give and receive feedback and try on new ways of being in a safe and supportive environment.

 

Groups can provide hope for the future, and with that new ways to work towards goals. It offers universality.  We learn that our struggles, thoughts, impulses (that we see as unacceptable) are shared with others.

 

In my practice, I lead a variety of groups and find so much passion in seeing a group shift from a new group in which the tendency is to lean towards outside surface content to eventually the realization that the content has little relevance to the group experience. Rather it is the interaction and experience between group members that create true meaning. To learn more about our group therapy visit here.

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