What to know about Group Therapy
Group therapy is an impressive form of therapy, which leverages the power of the group, shared experience, and collective healing to generate change.
Group therapy is more affordable
One of the benefits of group therapy is reduced per session cost.
group therapy is covered by extended benefits
If your extended benefits cover the services of Registered Clinical Counsellors (RCCs), then you can claim
Group therapy is
For many clients, group therapy should be considered the preferred clinical approach.
What is Group Therapy ?
Group therapy consists of 5-8 participants joined with a professional counsellor. But this is not the same as an individual counselling session diluted by more people. Rather, group therapy harnesses the healing power of the group to actually magnify the effect of counselling therapy.
Group Therapy provides participants with the following:
A healing collective of people on a shared journey
The opportunity to occupy the “healer position” yourself
A POWERFUL NORMALIZING AND DE-STIGMATIZING EXPERIENCE
An authentic feeling of belonging amidst problems and /or pain
A structured program which yields 16 hours of group time in just two months
The difference between support groups and therapeutic groups
At Nightingale Counselling and Research we offer therapeutic group counselling. The way we understand the difference between the two is in the following way:
A therapeutic group has agreed upon therapeutic processes and goals and is moderated by a Counsellor trained in group therapy – the goal of a therapeutic group is change.
A support group is something that is arranged and enacted by a group of liked minded laypeople/participants – the goal of a support group is to achieve some relief in relation to the issue at hand with the support and empathy of group members.
What is the format ?
Groups at Nightingale Counselling are offered in the following format:
2 hours each week for 8 weeks, one evenings or weekends to fit your schedule at a cost of $460+tax per 16 hour session
What groups are available ?
How do I register ?
What if I want to read more about group therapy?
Some people wonder if group therapy is as good as individual therapy, as it is not as intensive a relationship between Counsellor and client. In many therapeutic contexts, it’s true that maximizing contact between therapist and client is the critical determinant of success. But, that is not universally true: for certain people, problems, situations, illnesses and experiences, clinical evidence suggests that there are superior outcomes available in the group context. In many of these cases, group therapy will be an additional support along with a course of individual therapy.
Part of what makes group therapy so special is that the feedback, messaging, storytelling, and relationship building that helps us heal comes not only from a paid professional, but from other people just like you. Technically we refer to this as “Accessing Non-Expert Knowledges” — but what it really means is that we hear the voices of group participants as being totally authentic, “no bullshit.”
So what we listen to in group therapy is different, but how we speak is also different. In group therapy we have a community of witnesses, ordinary people offering empathy and care, and who are taking on the responsibility of carrying your stories. They act in witness to you and for you. This is an incredibly powerful phenomenon, which creates encouragement and belonging. And often this belonging is felt in direct response to the very problem that may have made us feel an outsider.
Our participation is also unique in group therapy and helps immensely with the overall process of healing and change. On one hand, there is an opportunity to take a more passive position: for folks who are shy or wish primarily to observe first, to dip their toe in the water before they jump in, the many voices of group therapy allow for this to happen in ways that are harder in individual therapy. And second, they also allow you to take an active role in the healing of your fellow group members. Helping to heal, where we have so far felt more like a victim or an outsider, is an immensely moving act.
Group therapy is a beautiful invitation to pursue your journey in step with a collective, to be carried when you need it, and to carry others when you can. It is an invaluable addition in many processes of healing.