This week, I began promoting a brand new group that I’ll be facilitating at the beginning of November. This will be the first of hopefully many I’ll be running at Inner Light Psychology, but it’s actually one of many I’ve facilitated. So what’s the big deal about group therapy?
Participating in group therapy can be a transformative experience. Back in 2013, I was invited by my own counsellor to be a participant in a new group she was organizing. My immediate response was “Oh heck no!” I was scared, reluctant and nervous. The only reason I decided to participate was because a good friend of mine also agreed to participate. But, it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
I had been doing individual counselling for over a year at that point, and was continuing to make progress. What I didn’t know or expect was how exponentially more powerful group processing can be. It’s one thing to have a paid professional normalize and validate your experience; it’s something completely different to sit with other group members and hear similar but yet different experiences and receive their compassion and empathy. The growth that I experienced through group therapy was unbelievable; the friendships that evolved had a depth that I didn’t expect.
What’s Different About Inner Light’s Groups?
The groups that I’ve created and facilitated are usually inspired by a book that I feel my clients or other people can relate to. Sometimes I notice specific trends with the populations I’m working with, or sometimes I am inspired by books I’ve read on my own journey to heal. I love reading books like, “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay or “Breaking Open” by Elizabeth Lesser and creating creative assignments that will allow the participants to reflect on the ideas and integrate them deeper. The reading and creative assignments are part of your commitment- weekly homework that needs to get done.
Each week, you will bring your homework to the group and each participant will share their reflections, insights and struggles. This opens up the dialogue to healing. Numerous times in the groups I’ve run, one participant will share something incredibly deep- maybe even something they are carrying shame or guilt about- and suddenly they are hearing from the other members that they are not the only one with that type of experience. The homework assignments also help set the foundation for you to continue on your self-growth and healing journey, long after the group has concluded.
Online Groups, really?
Many people have seen or heard about in person groups. Most of us have seen TV shows that show an AA group or a grief group, in the basement of a church. But today, with everything that’s happened, one of the amazing things I’ve discovered is how effective online groups can be. Online groups offer the opportunity to dig deep from the comfort of your home. People who have been part of my online groups have also found them to be powerful, with very little difference from those of the in person groups.
So, what’s stopping you from joining the next group? There’s a new one starting November 1st, called “Daring Daughters: Healing the Unmet Maternal Needs.” It was inspired by Kelly McDaniel’s book “Mother Hunger”. For more information, check out the group link here.