ROSELYN ABBOTT
 

Group Psychotherapy

Group psychotherapy can be a highly effective form of therapy for many people. Human beings are fundamentally social, born into and raised in a group - usually the family. Later we experience playgroup, school, peer groups etc. It is within these primary groups that we build on what we learnt in our infancy, and develop sibling relationships and friendships. Primary groups such as family and school model both helpful and unhelpful ways of relating, to ourselves, with one another and to the wider social context. In a psychotherapy group, these more unconscious ways of relating become available for conscious understanding. Insights and new learning create opportunities for personal change and development.

Group psychotherapy can benefit many people, including:

  • People wanting to understand themselves and their relationships.
  • People who currently work in small groups, and seek to increase their understanding of group behaviour and dynamics.
  • People for whom their working environment relies crucially on effective collaboration within small groups of colleagues.
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How to contact me:
Telephone: 077 6391 6877
EMail: info@mindmatters-therapy.co.uk

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Deep and lasting change happens best in a carefully managed group. To this end, all prospective group members are initially offered a number of individual psychotherapy sessions. A psychotherapy group draws on the potential of every individual within the group and not just the group therapist. The group as a whole has an existence and therapeutic identity, just as much as the individuals within it.

Groups of up to eight (nine including the group therapist) meet once a week for regular sessions of 90 minutes. Members are expected to attend regularly and so, except in emergencies, should give ample notice of absence. The events within a meeting are confidential, and group members should avoid discussing any issues raised if they meet outside the group context. A group session has no formal structure or agenda, but group members are encouraged to speak about important issues, and in turn respond to others as attentively as possible. In this way, established patterns of behaviour can be recognised, understood, and over time changed for more appropriate ones.

Group guidelines

  • Each member will use group therapy in their own way and at their own pace.
  • Group members are asked to respect the confidentiality of others in the group.
  • The safety and progress of the therapy is protected when discussion outside the session time is avoided.
  • The process of leaving or ending with the group can be the most important and useful aspect of the therapy. Working through closure of therapy with the support of the group provides an important therapeutic experience, where new patterns of relating can be tried out.

Over the course of time the membership of the group slowly changes: members commit to an agreed minimum attendance of one year. Typically, for an individual to leave the group is the result of a collective and informed decision, for which ample notice is given. When vacancies occur, new members may join at the invitation of the group therapist and with adequate notice to existing group members.

What happens next?

When a group vacancy arises, there will be then an opportunity to meet with the group therapist for a few individual sessions (usually 2-3). This gives time to discuss:

  • personal difficulties,
  • therapeutic needs, and
  • any hopes, queries and anxieties about group therapy.

If we decide to proceed together then the therapist will provide a date to join the group.