When I mention the word “group,” what is your first reaction?
For most individuals, that one little word elicits a cringe, a shake of the head, maybe even a “no way, not for me.” That’s understandable if you think about the TV and movie representations of groups – downcast individuals sitting in a circle of folding chairs, studiously not making eye contact, usually in a basement – why on earth would I spend my already precious time bothering with something like that?
Here’s the thing: a group run by a skilled professional is nothing like that. It’s a safe, supportive space filled with other individuals struggling with similar issues. All group members are screened by those same skilled professionals who work hard to ensure the fit of the group.
(And, in my particular brand of humor, our office is two floors away from being a basement and not a folding chair in sight, so there’s that going for it.)
Here are a few reasons why group is the most important support you probably haven’t considered:
- Healing happens in connection. Human beings are designed to connect and attach to other humans. In our busy and face paced world it often feels impossible and downright unsafe to be vulnerable with others – but a willingness to be vulnerable is the magic ingredient for creating connection. Group helps to provide the safety necessary to begin to test the vulnerability waters.
- There’s a “Whole New World” of activities that can be attempted in a group. (cue Aladdin music) Group has so much space for creativity! For those of you who have ever participated in experiential work with me or anyone else in the office, just imagine being surrounded by supportive individuals who are willing to hold space during those exercises. Not only will you benefit, but everyone who volunteers to passively participate in your work will experience profound insights.
- Your therapist’s voice isn’t the only voice you need to hear. We learn from others. Group members often have an experience of “oh my goodness, that’s my story too!” You can have a life changing experience just by watching other group members address their own struggles, also known as passive participation.
- Groups are economical. Groups typically meet once a week for an hour and a half to two hours depending on the nature of the group. They are typically closed, meaning no new members are added after the start of the group (yay, safety!) and typically last 6-8 weeks. Therapists can offer a lower hourly rate because the time is shared by group members and all commit to the group prior to the start of the group. Additionally, who hasn’t thought “wow, I wish that hour was longer” at the end of an individual session?
If any of that resonates for you, reach out to us about group! Upcoming groups and workshops are open for registration now and more are on the way. We want to hear what you need!