Groups create a safe protective environment in which to try out new behaviors and gain insight about how individuals experience themselves and others. In our groups we encourage each person to take risks and work on their desired areas of personal growth. Individuals can find commonalities with others, experience support, gain feedback and reduce isolation.
A counseling group is usually made of 6-8 people who meet face to face with 1 or 2 trained counselors and talk about what is concerning them most. Members listen to each other and openly provide each other feedback. These interactions give members an opportunity to increase understanding, try out new ways of being with others and learn more about the ways they interact. The discussions in group sessions are confidential; members agree not to identify other members or their concerns outside of group.
When people learn to interact freely with other group members, they tend to recreate the same patterns of interactions that have proved caused issues for them outside of the group. The group counseling environment provides a safe confine to experiment with alternative ways of treating yourself and others that may be more satisfying. Many people feel they are somehow weird or strange because of their problems or the way they feel; it is encouraging to hear that other people have similar issues and can grow past them.
You control, and are ultimately responsible for, what, how much, and when you tell the group about yourself. The more you become involved, the more you are likely to benefit. Most people find that when they feel safe enough to share personal issues, counseling groups can be very helpful and affirming. People are helped by listening to others and thinking about how what others are saying might apply to themselves.