From families, to work teams to friendship networks we spend a big chunk of our lives being in groups. Yet many of us find groups challenging and we may actively avoid group assignments and social interaction. Many of the inner struggles brought up in individual therapy arise from our interaction with the outer world our relationships with others, at home, at work, in the community and in society as a whole. We are individuals and we are also interdependent beings and groups are very much a part of our social fabric.
For around three years I’ve been a member of a therapy group learning more about myself, how groups work and how to conduct groups. Like many more introverted personalities I’ve had a love -hate relationship with groups over the years. I enjoy the energetic buzz and creativity of facilitating workshops and working in a team and I crave the solitary space for quiet reflection. I’ve learned that balance is essential for my wellbeing and that everyone’s place of balance is slightly different. So with that in mind – What are my top three reasons to love Group Therapy?
- Group therapy provides an opportunity to experience yourself in a group – unlike the other groups we belong a therapy group encourages you to think about yourself and the group. It offers a safe space to reflect on your relationships and explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviours in the company of others. Other group members offer different perspectives and insights which may provide you with fresh insights, reassurance and encouragement for change and personal growth.
- Being in a Therapy Group offers a sense of belonging – it is a place to explore issues of identity, diversity, acceptance and belonging. These last two years have been incredibly challenging, many of us have felt lonely, isolated and struggled to stay connected. Group therapy encourages to connect with others and to acknowledge ourselves and each other as valued individuals with a unique contribution to make.
- Group Therapy can improve confidence and self-esteem – just as negative group experiences can dent our confidence, a positive group therapy experience can be healing. Belonging to therapy group can help reduce social anxiety and help us to re-evaluate our relationships with the other groups in our lives.