The group meets at the same time, and in the same place, for exactly 1 ½ hours, once per week. All the members sit in a circle together with me. My role is to protect and observe the group, to think about what might be taking place, and to share thoughts that I feel will be useful.
The topics of discussion are not predetermined and rise spontaneously from the group. Members are encouraged to be as honest as they can in expressing their thoughts and feelings about other the members and their lives. It is important to share your understanding of the members and to relate the emotionally significant story of your life. Others can then respond freely by giving feedback, encouragement, support, criticism, or even sharing their own seemingly unrelated associations following hearing these words. Sometimes there are silent periods during group time, and at other times everyone has something to share.
For most people, joining a group is anxiety provoking. On the first meeting, you may think that you don’t have much in common with other group members or you may fear that there will not be enough space for your concerns. It takes a little time to settle in and find your place, but I will be thinking about all of the members of the group and I am there to ensure that safety in the group is maintained. You are not required to speak or reveal intimate issues if you do not want to. However, the more openly you participate, and talk about yourself, your feelings and thoughts – the more you will stand to gain.
Being a member of a Therapy Group doesn’t only mean hard work! Sometimes there is a lot of laughter which often comes about through group members beginning to feel better about themselves and others.