In group counseling approximately 6-12 individuals meet face-to-face with a trained group therapist. Group counseling is a shared therapeutic experience which includes the presence of others who are working through similar issues. The focus can be on interpersonal relationships or on particular concerns shared by the group members, and is offered to help people reach a myriad of different therapeutic goals.
When people come into a group setting and interact freely with other members, they usually recreate those difficulties that brought them together in the first place. Under the direction of the therapist, the group is able to give support, offer alternatives, and comfort members in such a way that these difficulties become resolved and alternative behaviors are learned. This allows members to develop new ways of relating to people, and during group counseling, people begin to see that they are not alone and that there is hope and help. It is comforting to hear that other people have a similar difficulty, or have already worked through a problem.
Another reason for the success of group counseling is that people feel free to care about each other because of the climate of trust in a group. The psychological safety of the group will allow the expression of feelings which are often difficult to express outside their sessions. People might begin to ask for the support they need and be encouraged to tell people what is expected of them.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction class available at StLWC for first time
Mindfulness is the practice of the present moment, non-judgmental awareness of one’s life experience. Dr. Jeanne Kloeckner will offer an eight-week MBSR class, which is taught at health centers, universities and teaching hospitals worldwide. Based on the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, the practice is backed by science to reduce stress – no prior experience is required. Dr. Kloeckner trained at the University of Massachusetts Medical School Center for Mindfulness.
What: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction class
When: Thursdays, Jan. 30-April 2 with a silent retreat on Saturday, March 21
Time: 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Contact: Jeanne Kloeckner, 314-498-2439 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Fee: $250 (email Dr. Kloeckner to request a scholarship application)
Brené Brown Rising Strong Workshop
Brené Brown’s work has touched many hearts, and Daring Way™ facilitator Linda Warren is excited to offer a weekend of the noted author’s Rising Strong process. It’s described as: reckoning with our emotions and getting curious about what we are feeling, rumbling with our stories until we get to our place of truth, and beginning to live this process until it becomes a practice and creates a revolution in our lives. Fee includes the Rising Strong workbook.
What: Weekend Intensive Rising Strong Workshop
When: Saturday, Jan. 25 from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 26 from 1 – 5 p.m.
Contact: Linda Warren, LPC, CDWF – 314-339-3235 or email@example.com
Fee: $179 – includes continental breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea.
Family Solutions Group helps families detach from codependency
Are you struggling with a family member or loved one who has a substance abuse problem? Are their problems overwhelming you? The Family Solutions Group offers help to create healthier relationships and learn to break those codependent patterns. This eight-week class will teach you many helpful skills and includes topics such as Setting Strong Healthy Boundaries, Peace in the Midst of Change, and Self Care – It Matters. Counselor Valerie Wells, CADC, leads the group.
What: Family Solutions Group: Your Loved One’s Addiction
When: Wednesdays, Feb. 5-March 25-Feb. 26
Time: 6 – 7 :30 p.m.
Contact: Valerie Wells, CADC – 314-605-6949 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Fee: $350 – registration deadline is Feb. 3
Group Counseling Information
Types of Groups
Groups are usually divided into two types, either “psychoeducational” or “process oriented.”
Essentially, a psychoeducational group is focused on providing information about specific topics in order to give additional resources or information. These kinds of groups are generally more structured; members will be provided with specific topics or modules to discuss and explore. The intention is to provide more information about the topic, which is often identified in the name of the group.
Process Oriented group
Here, the focus is on the experience of being in the group, itself, as the healing opportunity. For example, the process of expressing thoughts, feelings, and experiences in the group, “in the here and now” can be the very vehicle by which change is discovered.
People choose to join group therapy to supplement primary therapy, to give additional support, or as the sole component of healing work. No matter what is addressed in therapy, group therapy allows the opportunity to share healing and experiences with other members. Many attending group therapy report that it as a way to know that they “are not alone” and that there are others, with similar experiences, who are supportive of them.
What actually happens in each group depends on who attends, what is being discussed, and any specific “modalities” the therapist uses in group. No matter what is addressed, change occurs as the group moves through various stages of development. The relationships, interactions, worked through conflicts, and discussions, offer many opportunities for growth, change, and restoration.
The criteria for joining a group depends on the intention of the group, what subject matter is to be addressed, and who would benefit the most from attending. Group guidelines, including confidentiality will likely be shared with all members at the beginning of the group or in an individual meeting with the group leader.
Source: DRB Alternatives, Inc. www.drbalternatives.com