Group Therapy

Group Therapy

What is group therapy? 
Group therapy is a form of treatment that allows participants to learn about themselves and their relationships with others and address personal difficulties that are often shared by other members of the group. A significant benefit of group therapy includes not feeling so alone with your concerns since others in the group will likely have experienced similar things. Also, the interactions members have with each other in the group will parallel interactions they have with people outside of the group. This allows members to learn about their reactions and practice taking risks with new strategies for interacting with others in the safe environment of the group. These insights and new ways of interacting can then be transferred to relationships outside of the group with the aim of improving them. 

Is there a structured format in group therapy? 
There is no agenda. It is up to group members to determine what they want to work on each week. Often there is continuity from week to week related to the topics raised. The leader(s) works with the group to facilitate meaningful interaction and attend to identified problems or areas of dissatisfaction in the members’ lives. Also, co-leaders and members too, over time, begin to address issues, feelings and dynamics that surface among members in the group. This is a very powerful means of learning about you and changing patterns of behavior that are not working. 

Can I be in individual and group counseling at the same time? 
Group therapy is often the ideal form of therapy for college students since a primary focus of group is on relationships and understanding and managing feelings. These are common issues for students. Group therapy alone can be a sufficient means of dealing with these issues. Individual therapy is sometimes recommended at the same time as group therapy. 

What are the expectations regarding my participation in group therapy? 
There are a number of rules or expectations that leaders ask members to commit to prior to joining a therapy group. This is to ensure the group’s safety and effectiveness in addressing the concerns of all of the members.

Members are asked to commit to a minimum of six sessions to allow enough time to get to know others in the group and effectively use the group to work on personal concerns.

The group sessions are confidential. Everything discussed in group must stay in group. This also means that you cannot discuss what happens in group with other group members outside of group.

Attend all group sessions unless an absence is unavoidable.

The group starts and ends on time. If you are going to be unavoidably late, please let the group leader(s) know in advance.

If you are going to miss a session, please let the group know in advance or the leader(s) know as soon as possible.

Talking about your feelings in group is important.  It is your responsibility to participate in group. Active involvement can be helpful, as can listening. No one will force you to talk about things you do not want to discuss.

Dating or special friendships with others in the group is prohibited while you are in group.  If you have decided you have met your goals in group therapy or that group is just not for you, please let the group know. It is important to provide enough notice to the group to be able to say goodbye. 

If you are a student in crisis, an on-call counselor is available in University Women 110 or 111 or by phone (405) 466-3400, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., weekdays. After hours counselors are available by phone through a resource named Call SAM at (855) 225-2726 or by contacting the Langston University Police at (405) 466-3366 or 911.

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