introduction to Group Psychotherapy
All serious daring starts from within. --Eudora Welty
WHAT IS GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY?
Group psychotherapy is based on the idea that behavior patterns are formed in groups-in families, communities, and cultures-and that many people, therefore, are best helped through the medium of the group. The psychotherapy group offers opportunities to speak openly and honestly about issues close to the heart. It encourages members to show the many facets of themselves, and to hear how they are perceived and experienced by others. Any problem a person has with relationships will eventually make its way out into the open, where it can be worked on constructively with the help of other group members.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM A GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY EXPERIENCE?
New members of a therapy group commonly report a sense of mutual understanding and empathy, a feeling that other group members have lived through circumstances similar to theirs. On the other hand, group psychotherapy can be hard and very challenging work. You might hear from others, for example, that certain behaviors may be self-defeating, or painful to others. Thus the group provides a safe and confidential environment in which old patterns can be challenged, faced, and changed. Because the group both "recreates" the emotional environment of a family and makes available opportunities for significant social experiences to be played out and understood, it provides excellent opportunities for insight and accomplishment. The group also provides opportunities to try new behaviors and to get honest, thoughtful feedback about them.
Mental health is not just the absence of "symptoms" it is full, flexible and creative human functioning.