Group Psychotherapy

This is the Age of Loneliness, George Monbiot writes in the Guardian.  We are social beings and whilst technology can make life easier it also contributes to a system where many people find themselves more and more socially isolated.   The worst thing you can do to a human being is to isolate them:  we are by nature social and we can know ourselves best through how we respond to others and how they respond to us.   If belonging to a group is beneficial to us, it is also very hard at the same time.  For some people, social anxiety and fears of being judged, ridiculed or shamed makes social groups extremely stressful.  We are all born into a group, we call it a family or a society or a class or a culture. Most of us feel that once we learn to know our place in a group, what others expect of us and what we expect of ourselves, it can be very hard to feel we can change or do things differently.

Group Analytic Psychotherapy  involves meeting in a group every week for at least a year or more with up to eight people and a group analyst.  The Group Analyst undergoes an intensive training over 5 years, which enables them to both facilitate communication and help the group explore and overcome blocks.   Sometimes, it is the worries or personal difficulties that we feel are odd or shameful that end up isolating us.  Sharing with others can be quite an awakening when you realize that you are not the only one.  As the group evolves, the sharing of experiences  builds up a shared knowledge of stories and memories.  Hearing others can be like looking into a mirror; seeing aspects of yourself in their life.

As adults we rarely receive honest feedback from others.  Our friends tend to want to us to feel good.  Our colleagues might have other ambitions of their own that make it hard for them to be impartial.  Group psychotherapy works a great deal with the giving and receiving of feedback; it is usually what group members notice about each other that helps people the most.  It is also offers an experience of belonging to a group:  over time group members build up a trust and are able to be more open.  They can then take this confidence into their relationships outside therapy.

If you are interested in finding out more about group psychotherapy, you can book a free  initial consultation at Brighton Therapy Centre to discuss this further.

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