How does this Process/Personal-Exploration Group operate?
This group meets weekly for 90 minutes. This is an ongoing group which requires an 8 week commitment.
The first few sessions of a
process group, also known as personal exploration groups, usually focus on
the establishment of trust. During this time, the group therapist and group
members work towards establishing a level of trust that allows them to
communicate openly and honestly. In a climate of trust, people feel free to
care about and help each other. New members are often amazed at how much their
contributions help other members. Group trust is enhanced when all
members make a commitment to the group.
During the group meeting time,
members are responsible for talking about what is troubling them.
Discussion flows according to what members would like to talk about -- the
group leaders do not, for the most part, assign topics for the group to
discuss. Members are encouraged to give support and feedback to
others, and to work with the reactions and responses that other members'
contributions bring up for them. Group members and group therapists
may serve as models for effective communication, offer problem-solving
strategies, and promote self-acceptance.
As individuals begin interacting freely with other group members, they usually
re-experience or recreate some of the interpersonal difficulties that
brought them to the group in the first place. Many of the reasons people
seek help with personal issues usually stem from difficulties in their
relationships with others. Under the skilled direction of a group therapist,
the group is able to point out troublesome interpersonal patterns by providing
feedback and support and offering alternatives, in such a way that the
difficulty becomes resolved.
Unexpressed feelings are a major
reason why people experience difficulties and distress. Sharing your thoughts
and feelings in a safe and supportive environment is an important part of group
therapy and strongly effects how much you will be helped. The climate of trust
provided by the group promotes an environment where members feel safe to share
their struggles and work collaboratively to understand one another. As
individuals increase their self-awareness, develop new ways of relating to
people, and learn new adaptive behaviors, they make progress towards their
personal goals that brought them to the group.