Group psychotherapy is about the essentially social nature of human beings. The group enables people to feel included and connected, and to overcome any sense of isolation or social anxiety. It also enables a greater understanding of your important relationships by focusing on how you are relating in the group. In the group you are likely to feel that you can see aspects of yourself through how others are acting. By giving and receiving feedback on this you will gain a number of perspectives on yourself, and feel a closer connection with others. This can help you to find your voice in your family, work and social groups, and to develop a stronger sense of your own identity, as well as help you to improve the quality of your relationships and to feel more secure in yourself.
There can be up to eight members in the group. Group members are advised to stay for at least a year, but can continue for as long as they need. When ready to leave, we will plan an ending together. This enables the group to maintain a sense of continuity and stability.
All members of the group agree to maintain confidentiality. In order to protect the safety of the group as a therapeutic space for everyone, group members are advised not to have contact with each other outside of the group. If you should encounter a group member outside, it is recommended that you mention it in the group so that we can maintain the integrity of the group.
We will start by meeting one to one for at least one or two appointments in which I will primarily listen to what you tell me about yourself and your problems, in order for me to get a picture of your background and what you might need help with. This is a two-way assessment process, in which we need to identify what kind of therapy (including individual, couple or group) would be helpful for you, and whether we both think that we can work well together. If you decide to join the group I would then suggest we meet individually another 2 or 3 times in order to prepare you for the group. We will plan a start date for you to join the group and I will let the group know in advance.
If we conclude that you would benefit more from a different type of therapy (e.g. a support group), I could then advise you on who to contact. If we agree that I am not the best therapist for you, then I would try to recommend a suitable colleague for you.