Educating clients about the joys and benefits of group psychotherapy
Nancy Wesson, Ph.D., C.G.P., FAGPA
Center for the Study of Group Psychotherapy (CSGP.org)
It’s important to help clients become familiar with group therapy and to understand the benefits. Your clients need to know that they will have a “team” which meets needs for closeness while enhancing the therapeutic change process. You can say to the client:
The weekly comradery of group psychotherapy includes sharing of experiences including everyday life experiences, in- the- group experiences, humor, the meaning of life issues. There is a great deal of caring and support from people/members who come to know you and appreciate you in a way that you have not experienced before.
There are several great experiences of belonging and acceptance awaiting clients in a psychotherapy group. There is also a component of clients helping clients understand themselves better by what they can see in group in the way they relate to others in the group that gets in the way of the kind of relationships they would like to have.
Below is a list of key points to emphasize in discussing group therapy:
- The weekly comradery of group psychotherapy includes the personal sharing of experiences: everyday life experiences, live in-group experiences, humor, the meaning of life, and caring and support from people who come to know and appreciate group members in a way that has not ever been experienced before. The psychotherapy works by understanding relationship patterns and becoming motivated to change as needed to become closer to others in group and in their lives.
- Group therapy is an accepting support team environment and group members enjoy and look forward to being together and discovering how they are with others.
- A sense of belonging is very powerful and rewarding and is accompanied by acceptance as clients explore their issues.
- Relationship issues are seen more clearly in a therapy group and accelerate the therapeutic process of working on them.
- Clients improve and/or develop new relationship skills and patterns which transfer to outside relationships.
- Group members are not judgmental. Members become important to one another and appreciate working together as an accepting team on issues.
- Explain to clients: “When you join a group, you acquire a support team.”