Suffering with mental health issues is difficult enough.
Being chronically misunderstood only adds insult to injury.
“I wish to find others who get it… since everyone I know has no clue.”
Nothing but repetitive, pitiful, and condescending comments and advice – “My heart goes out to you” and “just take care of yourself” or “Why haven’t you outgrown that yet?”
“I’m embarrassed to tell my friends what’s going on. They’ll just tell me I’m crazy and get over it.”
“It’s not that I’m just over-sensitive. I’m legitimately hurt by the way they treat me….”
Convinced abandonment is inevitable, “Screw them” and losing your cool – “What’s the difference? They think I’m a nutcase anyway.”
“I don’t trust people. They always screw me over.”
“Every time I go out on a limb and try and trust someone, they betray me.”
“Alone, depressed, angry, and feeling like crawling out of my skin.”
“When will things get better? Is there any hope?”
Feeling different from and disconnected from the world sucks. Certain things that can’t improve makes reality untenable and increases the risk of some pretty bad decisions. After all, why invest in the future if it’s so bleak? I’ll just take the momentary pleasures I can right now – it’s really all there is anyways.
Why is group therapy a good idea?
Group is a “social microcosm” – essentially, the things that play out in life and relationships get magnified in group settings. It literally provides a framework to discover what’s going wrong in relationships, simultaneously providing tangible opportunities to address the issues during group.
One group member finds out that others perceive them as arrogant, which pushes them away. Group can also offer this person opportunities to learn how they “show up,” and then the group can create opportunities to practice presenting differently.
It’s shocking how many times I’ve heard – “I probably lost that opportunity, friend, or deal…. Because of this exact thing. I wish someone told me I was acting like that.”
Some of the absolute greatest moments of my career have been witnessed through therapy groups. Witnessing the “Aha moments” when a person gets to see how their behaviors impact their peers, to then coaching the group to support change by practicing effective interpersonal skills.
Interrupting, presenting as selfish and disinterested in others, and insecure communication styles are all examples of character flaws that get repaired in groups.
Sharing the transformative experience creates a strong bond between group members – perhaps these are the first peers with whom you’ve ever been vulnerable.
Social support systems are exceedingly therapeutic and build resiliency and distress tolerance, two desperately needed ingredients to meaningful recovery. Somehow it’s easier to get through tough things when people have your back.
Learning from others’ experiences can also accelerate healing. Working through issues together teaches you how to think and solve your problems. The peers offer endless scenarios to which we can practice those newly acquired coping skills from the therapy group – yes, we will learn those, too.
Working and learning together in group has incredible therapeutic benefits. After all, the more minds working at getting well together, the better!
Here’s what it looks like…
Groups are meant to offer support to the members. It should feel like a natural experience that energizes wellness and improves the quality of life.
Group sizes range from 6-8 members, all experiencing similar challenges.
Some groups are separated by gender, while others are mixed – depending on the needs of the majority of current clients. Please reach out with questions on current offerings.
We get to know each other more and more each session through sharing and healthy risk-taking by being vulnerable – to the extent of your comfort/distress tolerance.
Groups meet once per week.
Groups last 90 minutes and have a 10-minute break in the middle.
The location of groups is at the Boca Raton office location.
Each group will have a different topic, consistent with the group’s theme you’re a part of. Common topics include Interpersonal Effectiveness and Resiliency, Recovery Skills, Vulnerability, Coping With Anxiety, Grief, Surviving Trauma, and more.
Groups use a structure to guide the process. Sometimes, they start with a brief meditative experience then review the group’s agenda. Each group provides an opportunity for check-ins near the beginning, especially if someone has an issue they want to address.
The group will utilize “norms” that the members agree upon to keep the process moving in a positive direction. One such norm tends to be one person speaking at a time.
Before the end of the group, there is a brief check-in to ensure each member has ample opportunity to work on their issues. If there are any remaining concerns, we can establish a plan to support that peer.
Here are some of our offerings…
Recovery from substances and relapse group…
This type of group focuses on the practice of long-term recovery and prevention of relapse. One important aspect of remaining in recovery is peer support. Opportunities to “tell on yourself” and get in front of the urges are of utmost importance – intervening in spiritual lapses is much easier than addressing chemical ones. Studying the tricks of the illness that routinely causes relapse is one of the goals.
We also learn the importance of getting active and creating a compelling future that you’d never give up for momentary pleasure.
Some groups are skills-based, focusing on communication skills that allow for the practice of vulnerability – disclosing how others affect you, positively or negatively. Conversely, this provides opportunities for individuals to use this information to identify flaws that need attention and become more effective themselves.
Mindfulness practices are essential to self-care, with near-infinite variations of the skill. Children tend to be the best at this; think how incredibly present they are in playing or enjoying what’s right in front of them. The practice involves being fully grounded and aware of the present moment – without judgment or analysis of the situation. This could be accomplished through concentrating on the breath, a mantra, or reflective listening.
Coping Skills groups can also focus on various important life-improving techniques. Some of these include stress reduction, role-playing through difficult situations, humor, sharing metaphors that bring meaning, encouragement of others through affirmations, brainstorming together, problem-solving, examining distorted thoughts, and finding helpful new ways to think about challenges.
Process groups are another popular focus for groups. During the process, members of the group will share emotions or issues they need to resolve. This allows putting our heads together and “wonder aloud” with our peer about how to make sense of the issues. We try and assist with resolution. Then, moving through the experience, rather than avoiding it.
Just a few comments from anonymous members…
“I thought I was the only one. I was so embarrassed and ashamed. Now I know that other people felt the same – and now feel better.”
“The group gave me hope.”
“I got to find out where I went wrong in my relationships. Group members showed me how insecure I came off.”
“Learning how to resolve problems through other peoples’ issues taught me how to think. Now I process using a completely different algorithm.”
Group is a great place to start!
If peer support is something you’re missing, group could be a fit for you. Chances are, it will add an important opportunity to grow in understanding of self and how to improve interpersonally.
Contact me for a free consultation to discuss if group would be a good addition to your life.
Call or email today: (561) 717-3227.