Some changes occur more readily in group settings than in one-to-one psychotherapy. That's because groups provide unique benefits, like multiple listeners and perspectives. And because groups usually include other people with similar symptoms and severity, you also benefit from the support, understanding and empathy of fellow sufferers. You'll even help them!
There are many different kinds of group processes that can facilitate changes that don't occur as readily in individual one-to-one therapy. In the realm of psychotherapy, therapy can effectively take place in small, medium and larger groups.
Groups tend to be underpinned by different processes. Some groups operate for a fixed number of sessions, whereas others are open ended. One of the benefits of a group that has a pre-determined number of sessions is that participants tend to be more motivated to change knowing their window of opportunity is limited. However the fixed model neglects the fact that everyone develops psychologically at their own pace. While some people develop new insights and lasting change quickly, others develop more slowly. Participating in a session-limited group can prevent an individual who is gradually changing and developing insight being denied of the opportunity to deeply explore aspects of their inner world.
Groups can be organised at a symptom specific level. That is, there are groups involving participants only with issues concerning grief and loss, addictions, anxiety and eating disorders. However, other groups may involve participants who have a wide variety of underlying problems.
Groups offer a wonderful opportunity to heal and provides some benefits that individual psychotherapy cannot afford, such as providing multiple listening ears, perspectives and support. However some people prefer individual psychoanalytic psychotherapy where they can command the full attention of their therapist and not have to consider the needs of others during this time.
At present, Bayside Psychotherapy does not have the space to offer group psychotherapy, however we are continuing to explore suitable venues. It is our intention to establish groups holding predominantly mindfulness and psychoanalytic principles.
In the meantime, we are happy to provide you with possible referrals to group therapy should it be appropriate for you. However if you are also looking for individual counselling or hypnotherapy in Melbourne, please get in touch.
Do you know someone who may be interested in group therapy?