In group counselling, approximately from eight to twelve individuals meet face-to-face with a or two trained counsellor / therapist (group leader). During the group meeting time, members are responsible for talking about what is troubling them. Discussion flows according to what members would like to talk about — the group leaders do not, for the most part, assign topics for the group to discuss. Members are encouraged to give support and feedback to others, and to work with the responses and associations that other members’ contributions bring up for them.
Feedback involves expressing your own feelings and thoughts about what someone else says or does, or about what is happening in the group as a whole. This kind of interaction between group members is encouraged, and provides each person with an opportunity to try out new ways of relating to themselves and others. It also provides members with an opportunity for learning more about their own interpersonal styles.
Group work usually begins with building trust between group members. Members work to establish a level of trust that allows them to talk personally and honestly and this group trust is enhanced when all members make a commitment to the group. People who join groups must agree to keep the content of the group sessions confidential. What people talk about or disclose in groups remains strictly amongst the members of the group.
Group counseling is a powerful experience: where participants begin to see that they are not alone. Many times people feel isolated with their problems. It is encouraging to hear that other people have similar feelings or difficulties, or have even worked through a problem that deeply disturbs another group member.
When people come into a group and interact freely with other group members, they usually re-experience some of the difficulties that brought them to group therapy in the first place.With the skilled practitioner’s leadership, the group is able to give support, provide new perspectives, and/or offer alternatives to the person in such a way that the difficulty becomes resolved.
A group is an ideal setting for exploring social or interpersonal difficulties. The experience allows a person to understand theirs interpersonal concerns, and they develop new ways of relating to other people.
In a climate of trust, people feel free to care about and help each other. You will be amazed how much your contributions help other members and their contributions help to you.
To get most out of your group experience
- Talk about what brought you to counseling in the first place
- Tell the group members what is bothering you.
- Let the group know what you need; support, confrontation e.g.
- You’ll get the most from the group if you are able to tell people what you expect of them (and if you are having trouble identifying exactly what you need, you can talk about that too).
- Being able to express your feelings freely in a safe group can be the most helpful and satisfying experience.
Expressing yourself in this context is self-disclosure which is an important part of group counseling, and it relates directly to how much people get from the group. Of course, how much you talk about yourself will depend upon your own comfort level. A group is not a place where people are ever forced to tell their deepest and innermost thoughts. You are ultimately the person responsible for how much you share.
A new Encounter Group will be starting on Thursday 7th January 2016 from 7.00 pm to 8.30 pm in Yateley.
To be part of a group or to get further information, just call Zeynep on 7852251013 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will arrange a meeting together.