Lakeside Rooms is a highly regarded and prominent practice of Psychologists and Psychiatrists. Our team of Mental Health and Allied Health Professionals offer a wide range of experience and approaches to suit individual needs and preferences.
Being part of a group can offer insights that you may be too close to your situation to see.
There are many types of group therapy. As Irvin D. Yalom, M.D., writes in The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy (now in its fifth edition), “The multiplicity of forms is so evident today that it is best not to speak of group therapy but of the many group therapies.”
At The Lakeside Rooms, for instance, we focus on psychoeducational groups, where a clinician teaches members specific skills, such as emotional resilience, mindfulness or dialectical behavioural therapy.
What all groups have in common is people coming together, under the leadership of a trained group therapist, to work on improving their lives in one way or another.
Groups typically consist of 6 to 10 people and meet weekly for 60-90 minutes for a set number of weeks, generally 5-10 weeks.
So why is group therapy so helpful?
Groups provide support. Hearing from others with similar issues helps you see that you’re not alone in having challenges, whether you’re grappling with panic attacks, depression, or another mental health issue. Many people experience a sense of relief.
Groups provide a sounding board. Hearing from other people about how you come across can be very powerful. You get a wider range of perspectives on your situation, and that can help you deal with your problems better.
Groups can propel you forward. Hearing how other members successfully overcame their fear of flying or how they confronted a family member over drug abuse can be very encouraging. Clients often push themselves harder when they see what others are doing.
Groups promote social skills. Groups not only help to ease that sense of isolation, but also give the opportunity to practice re-engaging with people. Just by participating in a group, you see that you can get along with others.
Groups teach you about yourself. Every person in the group holds up a mirror and you get to see yourself through their eyes. It’s a way of uncovering the blind spots that may be blocking your ability to overcome your issues.
How to Get the Most From Group
Try these steps to maximize group therapy:
Take a pledge. Each group should have participants sign a contract that spells out what’s expected of them. Knowing this can help you overcome any fears about participating.
Participate. You might have days when you don’t feel like talking, and that’s fine, but the more you contribute, the more you’ll get out of it.
Share. Your experiences might be meaningful to someone else, and you’ll find that helping others helps you, too.
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