What is group work?
“The power of the group”
Nothing compares with the comradery you feel, the support you get and learning that is gained from the group process. Even the very risk taken by attending and participating in group is of unparalleled value. We acknowledge that to begin with it can be daunting and we encourage you to sit back and listen until you feel safe to get involved.
Above all remember it is an opportunity to tell your story, make friends, share challenges, your thoughts and not forgetting the positive stuff like your successes and plans.
Why is group therapy so important?
The psychologist Irvin Yalom is attributed with defining the following beneficial principles of group psychotherapy;
- Universality or Identification with other members
- Altruism or being of service by giving to other people
- Instillation of hope by witnessing others changing
- Imparting information or sharing your valuable knowledge
- Correcting experience by linking your past to your present
- Imitating or modeling healthy behaviors
- Cohesiveness in community and fellowship
- Existential factors are finding purpose and meaning in life
- Catharsis is honest self-expression and relief felt
- Learning by listening to others feedback
- Teaching by bravely giving your feedback to others
In summery, identifying with others means not feeling so alone, helping others counters the selfish nature of addiction, your self-esteem improves by being valued and listened too, which may be a change from your previous experience, your learn to react differently when challenged and many find a new meaning and answers as a result of this process, so be open minded and don’t miss out.
And of course there are many more benefits that arise from being an active group member, it’s a maturing process of self-development involving leadership skills and team player skills that you will take away with you.
Denial is one of the most common barriers to change and through group discussions members are able to drop the auto-defenses that prevent them getting well.
What is group work?
It’s a mutual support system facilitated by our experienced staff in various forms such as;
- Morning process group
- Structured topic group
- Assignment work group
- Educational presentations
- Relapse prevention group
Psychotherapy and neuroscience meet when we talk about the mind and the brain. It is said that social interactions and common aims release brain chemistry during active engagement, producing energy and feelings of contentment naturally. Analysis found active participation in the group increased when the individual members beliefs matched those of their fellow group members, other examples of this are football supporters and religious groups. So if you attend your group intending on getting well and helping others do the same it will work for you.
Of course there are expectations and boundaries in place to keep groups opperating safely so you will be required to respect a few basic guidelines such as:
- Confidentiality and privacy
- Follow the leadership and facilitator
- No mind altering sunstances except on detox
- Aggression or intimidation
- Respect eachothers degnity
- Punctuality and attendence
- No disruption, use toilet before hand
- No exclusive relationships
- No gossipping or secret grudges being acted out
- No food or drinks accept water
- No rescueing
Tips for getting the most out of your group therapy experience;
- Focus on the here and now feelings and thoughts, even if you are talking about the past or future events.
- Be involved and be honest and open even if it triggers difficult feelings.
- Name your feelings such as when your feeling angry.
- Always give specific examples not generalities.
- Learn to give appropriate feedback, honestly in a caring and specific manor.
- Learn to receive feedback by acknowledging it, seeking clarification and being aware of your human defense mechanisms.
- Avoid giving advice when your experience is more valuable or suggestions.
- Focus on your relationship with the group and individual members.
What is group work? By Simon M