What is Group Counseling?
Group counseling is a highly effective means of addressing personal concerns - in fact it has been proven to be equally as effective as individual therapy, and in some cases more effective. Some groups that are often offered are focused on a particular subject or skill while others are more general in nature. The more general groups (named interpersonal process groups) in nature are particularly beneficial if you:
- Are concerned about how you relate to other people
- Feel isolated, depressed or anxious
- Experience discomfort in social situations
- Lack intimacy in relationships
- Have family of origin difficulties
- Are dissatisfied with your friendships or romantic relationships
- Struggle with low self-esteem and/or low self-confidence
Watch this brief video to learn more about group, how it can help, group myths demystified and more:
What groups Will be Run during the 2015 Spring quarter?
- Interpersonal Process Groups
- Grief/Loss Group
- Mindfulness Group
- Helping the Helpers Group
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy Group
- Helping the Helpers
Please click here to see our group brochure with descriptions of all groups and times offered (pdf). If you are interested in joining a group or learning more about the group, please contact us noting the group you are interested in: group therapy interest
What is group counseling?
- Typically, a group consists of 5 to 8 people who meet face to face with 1 or 2 group counselors to discuss their concerns.
- Group sessions are confidential: what is discussed in group may not be disclosed or discussed outside the group.
- Many groups last 8-10 weeks while others continue from one quarter to the next.
- You can participate in as many groups as you would like, there are no limits to group counseling.
Why does group counseling work?
Group members and counselors can:
- Help you obtain support
- Help you receive immediate, genuine feedback allowing an increase in your awareness of yourself and identification of aspects of your life you want to change.
- Help you see that you are not alone in your problems
- Help you resolve your difficulties, learn alternative ways of responding, and develop new ways of relating to others
What does a typical group session look like?
Groups vary in session format.
- Interpersonal process groups
- No specific topic for each group session
- As a group member, you bring any issues to the group you feel are important
- The primary focus of therapy in the group is on the interactions among you and other group members
- The primary processes of therapy in the group focus on disclosure (sharing oneself) and feedback (getting information about oneself)
- Members give each other feedback on their interpersonal styles and identify ways in which they feel more connected to one another
- Support/Theme groups
- Mix of structured/unstructured activities
- Providing and receiving support from others around a specific shared issue/common experience
- Structured skills groups
- Similar to workshops and focused on a particular topic
- Sessions may consist of brief lectures by the group leaders, group discussions, and experiential activities
Do I have to reveal all my deepest secrets and feelings to the group?
- No. You alone decide how much you want to share.
- Most group members tend to share more about themselves when they feel safe in the group.
- Members often report getting more out of group when they decide to share more about themselves.
What role do the group leaders play?
- Help create and maintain safety in the group
- Guide and facilitate self-exploration
- Give feedback and support
- Provide comments on interpersonal issues in the group
- Encourage group cohesion
Some leaders take an active role throughout the duration of the group while others tend to give group members more responsibility for self-exploration.
In structured groups, group leaders take a more active role than in process groups by providing instruction on specific topics related to the group theme.