Groups provide an amazing forum for personal change and growth. As social mammals, we find ourselves immersed in groups throughout our lives such as families, school, communities, extra-curricular activities, work environments, etc. We can’t get away from the powerful influence of groups in how they shape us. Most human concerns that lead one to therapy involve relationships.
Every one of us wants to get our needs met, whether it’s intimacy, attention, connection, recognition, respect, care, companionship, or love. Unfortunately, based on numerous factors, many of us have learned unhealthy or unfulfilling ways to meet these needs, which creates more difficulties than are necessary. Group therapy provides a unique and useful way to address these unhelpful behavior patterns that are often unknown to us. The main goal of group therapy is to identify these maladaptive behavior patterns (often known to us as relational “blind spots”) in a safe, supportive environment and to find more adaptive ways to connect with others to get our needs met.
Groups offer several important growth-enhancing factors. One is that group members feel less alone, more connected, and more able to accept themselves simply by being with others who are engaged in similar processes. This experience of “universality” or "belonging" provides much relief to many members. The second, and even more powerful component of group, is that it’s like a “social laboratory.” It’s a unique, confidential and safe place to try on new ways of being and to learn about how you impact others and how they impact you. Group offers a “hall of mirrors” where you can learn about yourself through what you see in others and what others see in you.