The experience in the group can be a powerful motor for change. Group therapy provides a social microcosm which is nothing like you can experience in everyday life. The renowned psychoanalyst Prof. Felix de Mendelssohn suggested that clients who came to group therapy benefited much more than those who came only to individual therapy because the group triggers emotions that can remain hidden in the individual setting. In some cases, combination of group and individual settings would be the best option.
The group has several advantages compared to individual therapy:
- The group provides social microcosm where personal problems can be worked through
- The Feedback comes from multiple people and not only from one therapist or coach
- The group provides realm to support others and to develop empathy and self-awareness
- Increasing resilience and stress tolerance is more effective in group settings
- The group promotes self-awareness to the impact that we make on others
- The group promotes development of social skills and altruism
- In the group, it is possible to become aware of the universality of our problems
- The ÖAGG - Österreichischer Arbeitskreis für Gruppentherapie und Gruppendynamik (Austrian Association for Group Therapy and Group Dynamic), where I'm trained and currently in the status of Psychotherapist in Training under Supervision, has a long tradition in the field of experiential groups.
The “here-and-now” of the group provides a safe playground where different social patterns can come to the surface and be brought to the attention of the group members. This is not always possible in the individual settings, where the therapy is dependent on the material brought by the client, who is often not aware of the ways in which he affects the people around him, and therefore he can bring only part of the truth to the therapy. The group provides a much richer social microcosm to work on, and after gaining sufficient trust, the potential to work on your core issues is tremendous.
Group therapy provides the opportunity for “psychological rebirth”. The “here-and-now” of the group is much more important than the history of the members. The most important relationships are those that develop inside the group and not past ones. It is who you are that matters and not all the labels that you have put on yourself. Members bring their habitual patterns of behavior and feelings, and this is the material that is required for the work done in the group. After the “psychological rebirth”, members can go on with their lives, creating much more fulfilling relationships and with better understanding of their own feelings and the impact that they make on other people.
The interpersonal experiential field of the group can promote better competence in perceiving your emotional pattern during interactions and relationships, as well as your tendency to react in certain ways. The group therapy is also a great opportunity to improve your tolerance towards personal feedback from other people and your ability to make use of it. It promotes above all social skills that are needed to establish intimacy with another person while learning to appreciate similarities and differences in our ways of thinking and behavior.
The group is really nothing like anything you have experienced before. To discuss whether an experiential group might be right for you, please schedule a free consultation.