We All Crave Connection
If you crave a community of folks who share your same obstacles, you are certainly not alone. Group therapy brings folks together who are seeking support for a common reason. All of us crave connection, and if you’re battling very isolating circumstances, like social anxiety, addiction or relationship discord, then it’s no wonder you’re seeking support.
Here, you can also gain skills that help you feel better, experience more overall peace and joy and break the negative cycle that has been keeping you stuck. When you’re seen and heard by those who share your struggles, the results and experience can be empowering.
RecoverMe specializes in group work and offers different groups for different needs.
Relationship Group Therapy
Are you feeling very alone in your relationships? Perhaps you really want to connect with someone else on a deep, personal level, but you’re scared to open up as yourself and truly trust someone else.
Maybe you want to find a romantic partner but are struggling. It may be the case that you’ve never been in a relationship before, and you are ready to take the plunge. Perhaps you are so defeated by the prospect of dating that you believe something is wrong with you. Or, maybe you were recently out of an unhealthy dynamic, and you want to learn how to avoid repeating those same patterns future.
Connection is often what drives people to grow. With people around, connection is happening the entire time. In this dynamic, you get to learn about different levels of connection, how open you are and who you want to be in relation to other people.
Social Anxiety Group Therapy
Do you feel like you’re not yourself around other people? You might appear to be very high functioning and social on the outside, but on the inside, you’re hoping the attention will not land on you or stay there very long. Even if you have a close group of friends, you might still struggle with the fact that something is missing.
Maybe you feel an underlying discomfort with who you are and how you appear to others. When you’re in social situations, you may experience physical anxiety symptoms, such as sweating, trouble concentrating, stomach pain and more. You may even feel paralyzed. In these settings, you may turn to substances to make interactions with others easier.
For some issues, group counseling can be more effective than individual therapy. In individual therapy you can hold back and release when you’re ready. With group therapy, oftentimes the results are quicker because other people are holding you accountable. Because you aren’t able to hide as much in a group setting, you get whatever is on your chest off, which results in profound healing, faster. In a group dynamic, support is built into the room.
Group Therapy for Substance Abuse
Are you struggling with addiction or finding it difficult to maintain sobriety? Do you find that AA doesn’t go as in-depth into the experiences of an addict as you’d like? Would you like a more interactive space to discuss intimacy, relationships and other everyday aspects of life that don’t revolve around crisis?
Maybe you’re a partner of an addict and you’re struggling to assert boundaries in your relationship. If you’re persistently putting someone’s needs before your own, it’s possible that you want to learn how to communicate with yourself again, get in touch with your true values and desires.
Regardless of the issues you’re experiencing, it can be extremely validating to reclaim your role with folks who have been there. Talking through these issues—how overwhelming and frustrating they can be—can really clarify your concerns and give you the tools needed to begin moving forward.
Group Therapy Can Help You Thrive
It is very difficult to grow in isolation. Group counseling is highly effective because you know, right away, that you’re not the only person struggling. Just by being present in the room, you can learn the skills to connect with others, which is hugely healing, and walk away feeling empowered to be vulnerable and communicate in new, healthier ways. You can develop a better understanding of who you want to be and how you want to express that person to the world.
I use a process group therapy approach, with 6-8 members. In the beginning, I will have a one-on-one phone call with you, to listen your interests and gauge your needs and commitment. Group therapy sessions can be an emotional space, so I am dedicated to gathering members who will maintain an open and respectful environment.
Once the members have been chosen, we will have our first session, in which we engage in some ice breaker group therapy activities and lay ground rules for the group together. I want each person to voice what they want out of the process. When we’ve identified our goals as a group, and group therapy sessions start rolling, you will become increasingly comfortable engaging with your peers.
The group often serves as a practice arena for you to process and overcome stuck places. Group members can help one another engage in new communication techniques and reinforce existing strengths. With a variety of skill levels in the room, we can all collaborate on achieving common goals, with actionable steps. And, because group work invites shared accountability, the results can be efficient and profound.
As the facilitator, I am very present. I’m here to guide the conversation but also back off and let the group take the reins. Group counseling is a very fluid process in which individuals learn how to take empowering risks that ultimately lead to feeling seen, heard, validated and empowered.
Every time you leave group therapy, you walk away with new insights and skills to apply to your life. With support and high-level guidance, both from me and your peers, you can start to take charge, confidently, and move forward in the direction you want.
I’ve been facilitating groups for several years in a variety of settings—in treatment centers, jails and here in my private practice. I also attended my own support groups for spouses of addicts in 2011, and it was a life changing experience. I felt a different type of closeness that allowed me to dispel isolating feeling of guilt and shame. With all my experience, I know how powerful this work can be in helping folks connect, heal and move forward.
You may still have questions or concerns about working with a group…
Will I need to attend group therapy sessions every week?
During the consultation process, we discuss committing to 8-12 weeks. I realize that life is busy, but commitment is very important to this process. For example, if you were to miss three sessions, the group may move on without you. By dedicating your time and energy to just a few months of work, you can grow along with people who share your challenges and goals.
I’m afraid that other people in the group will judge me.
Everyone has judgments and biases—that’s simply part of human nature. However, the point of therapy is not to judge one another. The focus is on helping folks understand their own judgments and biases and how those stand in the way of forming relationships. By doing this, you can learn new ways to connect with yourself and others.
I just want to make friends. Is that okay?
That is a great question. Although sessions are designed to help you better manage relationships, group counseling offers another kind of closeness. At the beginning, I ask for you all to maintain relationships in the group setting only. When you form relationships outside of the group, that oftentimes creates cliques and leaves others behind, which can affect everyone’s experience.
After group therapy sessions have concluded, you are welcome to stay in touch. And, the relationships you form in the group can help you form and deepen other types of relationships throughout your life.