What can I expect out of a Support Group? What are the benefits of a support group?
Support groups may seem intimidating at first, you will be sitting in a room or online every week or two with people who at first – are complete strangers. As time passes, you will find yourself identifying with their life experiences though you may come from very different backgrounds. In fact, it is best that group members be somewhat different from each other so that there is enough diversity to encourage and facility personal growth in each client who attends.
Though group members may start off as strangers at first, the group will quickly become a place of support that augments and supplements individual counseling. Attending a therapy group can provide benefits that differ from individual therapy. First, weekly session are friendlier to client’s pockets. Often the cost of attending group weekly is comparable to the co-pay amount of individual or couples therapy. Support groups a great option for clients who wish to receive weekly or biweekly treatment but are unable to afford individual counseling in the face of the rising costs of healthcare.
As stated before, clients who opt to attend group quickly become very familiar with other participants and find that group is a place to receive support. Participants quickly find out they are not alone. Issues that we believe are only unique to us when shared with the group transform into common problems many if not all group members share. Clients are able to give and receive support from multiple people, rather than only from a therapist.
Support groups can also become a place for clients to become more of their true self. Members may be able to use the mirror other human being provide to be able to see themselves, identify their strengths and growth areas, become aware of their own emotions and desires and to express themselves to others in a meaningful way. A support group can be a place to practice being mindful of how we feel inside while interacting and connecting with others. Participating in group therapy regularly can become a place to practice being your authentic self.
Oftentimes, we are unaware of how our behaviors may come across when we are relating to other people. Support groups can be a great way for your therapist to observe and assess your interactions with others ‘in real life’ which may greatly improve how you relate to others and the quality of your intimate relationships. Support groups can create an environment for you to practice different ways of relating to others that can truly break barriers in your relationships. You may begin to see that you have other options (other than being standoffish or the life of the party) in terms of how you relate to others.
Finally, support groups can be a valuable emotional safety net. We can carry the encouragement and validation of our fellow group members with us throughout the week. We can also use the group to help keep us accountable to carrying out our personal, work, school or interpersonal goals. If we don’t quite hit the mark we can process it with the group and receive support in order to go out and try it again or we can receive some measure of validation if we hit the mark.
Oftentimes, group members find it helpful to process what is coming up for them in group with their individual therapist. Also, they may choose to journal what they are feeling in order to keep a record of their growth, goals met. Your group therapist will conduct an assessment with you to determine if you are an ideal candidate for group therapy at this time in your life. Group therapy can be a great enhancement in your life. Please review the FAQs as well as the groups currently offered below. Sign up for a group therapy assessment (individual session) if you are a new client or if it has been more than 90 days since you have seen a therapist at our practice.
Will the group be an open or closed group?
The groups at this time are open. What that means is that people may join or group at any time. This means that there may be a transitional period that occurs as the group attendees get to know new members. The benefit to an open group is that new members do not have to wait months to obtain therapy.
How many people are in the group?
We tend to keep our groups small so there will be no more than 7 group attendees at once.
How alike are the group members?
Group members of course come from different backgrounds but may share some of the same problems as group themes are rather specific.
Are support groups enough?
Participating in both individual and group therapy concurrently is recommended and many attendees find it very helpful to attend both styles of counseling as it can increase the probably of making efficient and effective change in one’s life. Group therapy can even give a boost to one’s personal growth if individual psychotherapy is stalled.
How much should I share?
Groups work best when each attended is authentic – open and honest. Confidentiality is greatly valued and group members may be asked to leave for breaching which would be a great loss for the former attendee and the group. Confidentiality among members is expected, however the therapist can not control members and therefore can not guarantee confidentiality from anyone other than themselves. With that being said, it is up to the group member to determine how much specific personal information they would like to share. It is important to note that it is very often not necessary to share specific personal information (content) to understand and obtain insight into patterns (the process).
Making changes and handling transitions in life can be difficult. You may feel isolated. If you are looking to join a community of people who are committed to changing together contact us today.
Groups currently being offered:
Are you looking for a space to rest from all the frightening feelings of betrayal from a significant other? Do you need tools in order to cope with betrayal and the loss of emotional safety in your relationship? Call us to register now at (833)254-3278. This group is virtual and meets biweekly beginning Tuesday October 25th at 5pm EST.
Emotional Eating, Binge Eating, Disordered Eating Group
Are you struggling with emotional eating, binge eating or disordered eating? Are you tired of food being a primary coping mechanism in your life? This group meets weekly virtually on Wednesdays at 6pm. Call us to register now at (833)254-3278.
Adults Recovering from Dysfunctional Parents
Are you seeking to heal from living in a dysfunctional family? Was your parent abusive, neglectful, addicted, narcissistic or dysfunctional in some other manner. Please join us as we meet together to recover from second guessing our feelings and putting ourselves second. Call us to register now at (833)254-3278.