Kim Murphy and I co-lead two therapy groups. It seems clear to both our patients and to ourselves that group is for most individuals so much more impactful than individual therapy. And it costs less too.
Of course, entering into a therapy group can be a bit daunting for some individuals, that is, until they have actually experienced the playfulness and passion that they are likely to experience in group after only a few sessions.
Our groups are designed to bring members into a “here and now” experience of their what it is like to engage with others with a greater sense of empathy and personal vulnerability. As therapists, our goal is to help our clients become more aware of what is going on iside themselves as they experience the various emotions of others in the ongoing social exchange of group therapy sessions. It seems clear that relationships in a therapy group develop as its members become more empathic and more open to expressing own responses to others in the group.
As members can experience and articulate a greater range of feelings during group sessions, they find themselves becoming more aware of and able to voice their responses to others in their lives outside of group. This, of course, means ongoing and new relationships become both more intimate and more growth inducing. Group members soon learn that holding back feeling responses from others and sometimes from themselves is a strategy that results in even the most passionate relationships devolving into “the march of the zombies,” that is into a relatively deadened “as if” things were just fine.
I hope you will give me a call to discuss any interest you might have in the growth opportunity of an ongoing group therapy experience. We can discuss whether some individual therapy might help prepare you for the intensity of a group experience.