Most people have heard of some type of group: a grief group, AA, divorce group, prayer group, feminist group, support group, maleness group (with drums!), looking-for-work group, singles group, a yoga group and so on. Each of these groups has merit and can be helpful to some folk.
A psychotherapy group is different from these others, and can provide particular benefits for many people. For one, a therapy group is led by a professional therapist, usually a PhD psychologist or masters level counselor, who has extensive training in group therapy. He or she understands the complex dynamics present in a group and can maintain the boundaries necessary to ensure each member receives maximum help with his or her issues.
In the protected and confidential situation of the therapy group (only first names are used and the relationship between members is kept within the group) the person can present their relevant history, old sacred oaths, repressed fears, and family secrets without fear of reprisal or condemnation. In addition, each member can relate to the others in an authentic and open way not possible in most social settings.
A therapy group has unique power to help people give and receive feedback on how each person relates to others. Is he afraid to be open with women? Does she see other females as a threat? Is his view of another man based on his father’s stern behavior? Does she need to use sex to feel valued? Is his drive for money to compensate for his feeling inferior? These and many other dynamics become clear in the process of group therapy, allowing each person to make changes and ensure healthier relationships. In addition, each member can learn how important she or he is to other group members and appreciate how valuable she or he can be in relationships.
Finally, group therapy can be an economical way to make the changes you desire, especially in important relationships in you life. Fees typically run from one-third to one-half those for individual sessions. If you currently have a therapist, ask him or her if a group is right for you.
If you are interested in exploring how a therapy group might help, give me a call at 512-346-2332. Or our office manager Cathy can schedule a time for us to meet.
Dr. Tom (to many of my clients)