Group Therapy

  • Group TherapyAre you interested in finding out more about group therapy?
  • Are you seeking a group psychotherapy experience?
  • Are you looking for support from others with similar struggles?
  • Would you like to hear how others feel and think about their challenges?
  • Are you looking for an intense yet more affordable type of psychotherapy?
  • Would you welcome feedback from peers about your challenges?

Interested in Group Therapy?

On this web page I present to you with information about group therapy so that you can make a decision whether or not this is a treatment method for you. Keep reading!

Some people prefer to learn and grow within a group therapy environment where they can share their experiences and learn. Others join a group because they feel too isolated and lonely, so they appreciate receiving support from peers.

Sometimes, getting feedback responses from others is more powerful and validating than receiving feedback and direction from an individual therapist.

Many People Participate in Group Counseling

Group therapy has been a popular treatment method since the 1960’s. For some types of problems, group therapy is very powerful and helpful.

Some clients prefer group counseling over individual therapy because they enjoy the support from other members. Others participate because it is more affordable than individual therapy.

Human beings experience most of their learning and growth in group settings. Groups are natural and familiar to all children and adults. From early childhood, we develop psychologically within different types of groups, such as families, classrooms, friends, clubs, teams, work places and social networks.

Some people enjoy and trust group interactions more that interacting alone with a parent, sibling, teacher, coach, supervisor or therapist. These people feel more comfortable within a group setting when working on personal problems.

For over 50 years, many Americans have participated in different types of group psychotherapy. Many hospitals, health clinics, treatment programs and mental health practitioners offer in-patient and out-patient group counseling services. Alcoholics Anonymous depends exclusively on structured group meetings and has a high level of success with its members.

Types of Group Therapy

There are basically 2 different types of therapy groups:

  1. Psycho-educational Groups – educate members about focused topic areas and about how to solve particular types of problems. This type of group is usually short-term or time-limited, lasting anywhere from 6 to 20 sessions. The leader presents information and the participants discuss the topics and apply the ideas to their own lives. There may be 6 to 20 participants in these groups.
  2. Process Groups – encourage clients to address their own difficulties and to discuss them in safe and confidential meetings with the leader and other members. Participants help one another and provide support and perspective. These groups tend to be “long-term” with no predetermined end date. There may be 4 to 10 participants in these groups.

Psychotherapy group sessions may vary from 45 to 120 minutes in length. Some may be “closed” and do not allow new members to join after the start date. Other groups, however, may be “open” and allow new members to join as the group progresses over time as members leave the group. Also, therapy groups may be limited to certain gender or divided by age groups, such as boys or girls, men or women, children or adolescents, and young or older adults.

General Benefits of Group Therapy

All therapy groups are designed to help people grow and overcome current personal problems. Most group leaders require that group members identify personal goals to work on within the group setting.

Here is a list of some potential benefits derived from a group therapy experience:

  • Improvements in – social and parenting skills; self-awareness; self-esteem and self-understanding; empathy for others; emotional control and stability; physical health; self-acceptance and self-confidence; interpersonal intimacy and trust; problem-solving and decision-making; priority-setting and responsibility-taking;  job seeking and employment satisfaction; emotional expressiveness; personal insight and strengths; experiencing pleasure; forgiving others; parent-child relationships
  • Reductions in – depression; anxiety; fear; shame; obsessive thinking; compulsive behaviors; social isolation; marital and social conflict; self-criticism; substance abuse; anger and aggression; self-defeating habits; suicidal urges; impulsive behaviors; loneliness; secrecy; distorted or negative thinking

How Effective Is Group Psychotherapy?

A number of research studies compare the outcomes of group counseling with other therapeutic methods. It has been proven that group therapy is as effective as individual therapy. They can both provide similar benefits and results.

Personally, I believe that group counseling for committed clients can be more powerful than individual therapy. Because members process their issues with other members, group therapy can be more intense and effective in promoting personal growth.

Group therapy can be uncomfortable at times. It takes grit and courage to join a group and stay long enough in the group to solve difficult problems.

Advantages of Participating in a Group

There are a few advantages to group therapy over other forms of psychotherapy. Here are 5 main advantages that are often experienced by committed group members:

  1. Groups are more affordable than individual therapy
  2. Members receive direct and open feedback from peers
  3. Members get help solving problems and setting priorities
  4. Participants feel supported by other members in making changes
  5. Groups offer a chance to practice new behaviors with peers

Why Do People Avoid Participating in Group Therapy?

People usually have 5 common objections to joining counseling groups:

  1. Fear of exposing their shameful past behaviors and biased beliefs
  2. Convinced that other members will not accept or support them
  3. Fear of being criticized and confronted by other members
  4. Belief that other members do not have the ability to help them
  5. Fear of loss of confidentiality outside the group by the other members

Fortunately, most of these fears never come true. Unfortunately, most of these anxieties and objections keep people from joining a group even if it could be helpful and affordable.

Group Members Appreciate Their Group

Most participants discover that they feel valued, respected and cared for by the other group members and the leader. Over time, they feel more comfortable, understood and attached to one another. Members grow to look forward to the group discussions and learn more about themselves and others. Most group participants learn to appreciate receiving and giving candid feedback. Listening and observing become more fascinating to them. And, getting validation and new insights becomes invaluable.

My Experience as a Group Leader

Group therapy is a specialty service of mine. I have been leading various types of groups with a diversity of clients for over 30 years. I have led groups in psychiatric hospitals, mental health clinics and private practice settings. I have been the leader of groups for children, adolescents and adults.

In addition, I have been highly trained in group psychotherapy and earned status as a “Certified Group Psychotherapist” by the American Group Psychotherapy Association. I have also taught group therapy technique to graduate students. Plus, I personally participate in ongoing professional training groups as a group member. From direct experience, I know what it feels like to be a group member.

Types of Groups I May Be Offering

I specialize in offering interpersonal process groups. Over time, I try to offer new therapy groups. Here are some sample groups that I may lead:

Men’s, Women’s, Mixed Adult, Adolescent, Couples and Divorce Recovery Groups

How to Become a Member in One of My Groups

If interested in joining a group, call me and ask what groups I currently offer and whether I have openings for new members.

If I have an opening, I will invite you to meet with me alone for more information. If there are no current openings or groups that match your need, then I can put you on my “Wait List”.

You, too, can benefit from participating in group therapy!

Group therapy is powerful.

Call Dr. Miller TODAY at 805-448-5053

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