Group therapy offers a safe environment to develop more self-awareness and grow personally while exploring oneself in relationship with others.
Group therapy is a special form of therapy in which a small number of people meet together under the guidance of a professionally trained therapist to help themselves or one another. The therapy has been widely used and has been a standard treatment option for over 50 years.
Group therapy members have the opportunity to practice new ways of interacting with others, as well as be challenged to think about the way they currently interact. The trust and support received from the group make it easier to try out these new behaviors. Group counseling also provides members with the opportunity to receive and give help or feedback to their peers.
Group therapy provides a challenging and supportive environment in which members can explore and discuss their concerns with peers and professionals. It offers more than an individual perspective on issues and challenges it's members to see things from multiple vantage points.
Group works! In studies comparing group psychotherapy to individual therapy, group therapy has been shown to be as effective and sometimes even more effective.
If you are considering group therapy, together you and your therapist can explore the nature of your problem. Through group you work to develop a better understanding standing of the problem and discuss what changes might make the situation better.
How Does Group Work?
A group therapist appropriately selects people (usually 5 to 10) who would be helped by the group experience and who can be learning partners for one another. In meetings, people are encouraged to talk with each other in a spontaneous and honest fashion. A professionally trained therapist, who provides productive examination of the issues or concerns affecting the individuals and the group, guides the discussion.
Group therapy focuses on interpersonal relationships and helps individuals learn how to get along better with other people under the guidance of a professional coach. Group psychotherapy also provides a support network of specific problems or challenges. The psychotherapy group is different from self-help and support groups in that it not only helps people cope with their problems, but also provides for change and growth. Self-help groups usually focus on a particular shared symptom or situation and are usually not led by a trained therapist. Support groups, which are generally led by professionals, help people cope with difficult situations at various times but are not geared toward change.
When someone is thinking about joining a group, it's normal for them to have questions or concerns. What am I going to get out of this? Will there be enough time to deal with my own problems in a group setting? What if I don't like the people in my group? Joining a group is useful because it provides opportunities to learn with and from other people, to understand one's own patterns of thought and behavior and those of others, and to perceive how group members react to one another. We live and interact with people every day and often there are things that other people are experiencing or grappling with that can be beneficial to share with others. In group therapy, you learn that perhaps you're not as different as you think or that you're not alone. You'll meet and interact act with people, and the whole group learns to work on shared problems-one of the most beneficial aspects. The more you involve yourself in the group, the more you get out of it.
The therapist's role is to evaluate each member's goals, hopes, and expectations prior to forming the group. Usually there is a mix of members who can learn from each other. While some members will have similar circumstances, it's not necessary for all members inthe group to be dealing with exactly the same issues.
What Kind of Commitment Do I Need to Make?
Regular attendance at group meetings and commitment to the work of the group is very important. The group meets in the offices of Avalon Counseling, located at 1250 W. Ironwood, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. An initial 8-week commitment is required for participation in the Healthy Mind Small Group. If for any reason a member needs to miss a meeting, he or she should communicate this to the group facilitator by calling (208) 366-5053.
What if I’m Uncomfortable Discussing My Problems in Front of Others?
It's not unusual to feel uneasy or embarrassed when first joining a group, but soon you begin to develop feelings of interest and trust. Most clients find that group therapy provides a great deal of relief because it allows them a chance to talk with others who are experiencing similar problems-in a private, confidential setting, Many people who have experienced group therapy believe that working together with others is helpful and they feel better by participating in this form of therapy.
It's important to consider the qualifications of a potential therapist. A professional group therapist has received special training in group therapy and meets certain professional criteria. That's where the American Group Psychotherapy Association can help. Clinical Members of the association have received special training in group therapy. In addition, a Certified Group Psychotherapist will have met strict professional criteria as well as ongoing continuing educational requirements.
When talking with therapists, here are four simple questions you may want to ask.
What is your background?
Given my specific situation, how do you think group would work for me?
What are your credentials as a group therapist?
Do you have special training that is relevant to my problem?
*Healthy Mind Group Therapy is facilitated by Dr. Lonnie Stapp, LPC, Ph.D. For more information on Avalon Counseling and Dr. Stapp can be found at https://www.graymattercounseling.com.
"When I went into group therapy, I was suffering from low-level depression. Through the group therapy experience, I remember feeling joy again."
"My work prompted me to go into group therapy. Suddenly, as a manager I was dealing with more people and needed to improve my interpersonal communications skills."
"Through group, I identified what I needed to work on as an individual and learned how to better deal with other people."
To The Point
WHO: Healthy Mind Counseling Group
WHAT: Small Group (5-7 members max) women and men ages 25-33
DATE/TIME: To Be Announced (Call to receive information on the next group)
LOCATION: 1250 W. Ironwood, Ste. 303, Coeur d'Alene, ID
COSTS: $65.00 per group session - call your insurance company to verify coverage, most insurances accepted
FACILITATOR: Dr. Lonnie Stapp, MS, LCPC, Ph.D.
FURTHER INFORMATION: Call or Text our office manager Leslie (208) 366-5053
Group Therapy Ground Rules
Regular attendance at group meetings and commitment to the work of the group is very important. The group meets in the offices of Avalon Counseling, located at 1250 W. Ironwood, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. An initial 8-week commitment is required for participation in the Healthy Mind Counseling Group. If for any reason a member needs to miss a meeting, he or she should communicate this to the group facilitator by calling (208) 366-5053.
Group therapists are bound legally and ethically to maintain confidentiality. It is also expected that all group members will promise to maintain confidentiality.
Expression of Feelings:
Group therapy often invokes strong feelings. It is expected that these feelings will be expressed verbally rather than physically.
Each group member must take responsibility for working on their therapeutic goals and reasons for being in the group. No one is going to force members to talk or reveal difficult material. It is up to each member to do so on their own.
Members that feel they are finished with their group work are expected to inform the group and return to say goodbye to the other members.
Group Member Selection
To create a nourishing environment for the group, member applicant’s will be required to complete a:
Two confidential consultation sessions with Dr. Stapp to discuss the member applicant’s goals for group therapy, answer questions about group therapy, present and past experiences with therapy, hopes and expectations for the anticipated group sessions
Member applicants will complete a Patient General Information form.
Member applicants who are in individual therapy will be requested to consult with their therapist as to the appropriateness of group therapy as a part of their overall treatment plan.
Member applicants will be required to acknowledge the therapist’s limits of confidentiality:
All information disclosed within sessions, in telephone conversations, and in written records pertaining to individual or group sessions is confidential and may not be revealed to anyone without the group member’s written permission, except where disclosure is required by law as discussed below:
If I believe a child, senior, or someone else has been or will be abused or neglected, I am legally required to report this to the authorities.
If you make a serious threat to harm yourself or another person, the law requires me to try and protect you and/or another person. This usually means telling others about the threat. I cannot promise to never tell others about threats you make.