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Groups

Support and Insight in an Interactive Setting

What is group therapy all about?

Group therapy is form of psychotherapy in which a small group of individuals who may have some similarities meet regularly with a therapist. It is a treatment format that approaches issues of personal growth through the use of interpersonal interaction. Group interactions provide an opportunity to build relationships and receive interpersonal feedback about how we experience one another.

In group therapy, clients receive understanding, support and encouragement from others while gaining different perspectives, ideas and viewpoints. Participants can increase self-awareness and learn new ways to cope with personal or interpersonal challenges. The content of the group sessions is confidential; what members talk about or disclose is not to be discussed outside the group.

Group therapy is sometimes used alone, but it also can be integrated into a comprehensive treatment plan that includes individual therapy or medication.

What is group therapy used for?

Some therapy groups target a specific problem such as depression, panic disorders, social anxiety, chronic pain or addiction. Other groups focus on improving social skills or helping participants deal with issues such as grief, rage, shyness, loneliness or low self-esteem.

How does group therapy work?

Group therapy sessions generally involve six to twelve individuals. The group typically meets once or twice each week for an hour or two. In many cases, the group will meet in a room where the chairs are arranged in a circle to facilitate interaction. The way in which the session is conducted depends largely on the goals of the group and the style of the therapist. Some therapists might have a specific plan for each session, while others may encourage a more freeform style of interaction.

What are the benefits of group therapy?

As a personal relationship “laboratory” where feelings are expressed respectfully and confidentially, group therapy has many potential advantages, including the following:

  • It can accurately reflect real-life situations.
  • It provides opportunities to observe and reflect on interpersonal skills
  • It can offer an increased sense of support, connectedness and confidence
  • The therapist can see first-hand how each person behaves in social situations
  • As group members come to trust and accept one another, they generally experience feedback and even confrontation as constructive

For these reasons, group therapy can be a highly efficient and rewarding alternative or addition to individual therapy. Group therapy can be extremely effective in promoting growth and change. It can also help jump-start your personal growth if individual psychotherapy progress has stalled.

Teen Support Group

Being a teenager is stressful…academically, socially, and emotionally. The pressure to get into a prestigious college, make a varsity sports team, to get invited to exclusive parties, or to keep up with friends on Facebook. WFC adolescent groups provide a safe, trusting environment where adolescents can share and learn from their experiences with guidance from a trained therapist. Our groups help teens put things in perspective. We empower teens with the skills, knowledge and self-awareness to better manage the pressure they live with on a daily basis.

Learning to cope with stress is one of the most important steps for teens in creating a positive future. Call Westport Family Counseling at 203-227-4555 or email wfc@wfcmail.orgto sign up.

PET BEREAVEMENT GROUP

Animals accept us unconditionally, which is why we bond so closely. Often, we grieve for the loss of a pet, as we would a close friend or family member. It is important to mourn the loss. Unfortunately, people do not always find the time or space that permits them to grieve more fully.

Westport Family Counseling offers a small, short-term group, specifically structured to help people process the loss.

Pet Bereavement groups are led by psychotherapist Vera Muller-Paisner.

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