Common Issues Addressed in Therapy
Articles and Creative Writing by Joan-Dianne Smith
The Fine Print
Making a Referral
WHAT IS GROUP THERAPY?Group therapy is a specialized form of therapy in which clients meet with a therapist in a small group. There are many different formats and methods of group therapy. Some are structured around a particular problem or situation while others focus more broadly on a variety of relationship issues. Sometimes group therapy provides educational input with structured exercises and homework between sessions. Other formats use open discussion among the group members with no set agenda. Regardless of the method utilized, group members are required to make several agreements so that the group can work well together. (see Group Agreements below) These working agreements ensure confidentiality, safety and honest feedback.
Short Term Group TherapyIn short-term supportive groups, clients meet for a predetermined number of sessions, typically six to twelve, focusing on common issues shared by members. The opportunity to be with others ‘in the same boat’ breaks down feelings of isolation and helps people find support and strength to face their unique challenges.
From time to time, I offer short term groups for:
Longer Term Group TherapyLonger term group psychotherapy focuses on understanding and resolving a broader range of emotional and relationship problems. In this form of therapy, clients receive support and encouragement for personal growth and change. These groups meet for an extended period. The therapist guides the group in an examination and reflection of the issues as they occur. Much of the interpersonal learning comes from within the group as members come to know and understand their own patterns. The meetings are private and confidential, often regarded as a time-out from one’s regular daily relationships, thereby creating a ‘neutral zone’ for honest self-expression and exploration. (*(See 'Client Information for the Interpersonal Group' link)
What issues may be addressed?The personal concerns one might bring to this group are quite broad. Examples may include:
The Group Agreements
For more information about group therapy see The Canadian Group Therapy Association at http://cgpa.ca/ or The American Group Psychotherapy Association at http://www.agpa.org/