In group therapy approximately 4-8 individuals meet face-to-face with a group psychologist, psychiatrist or psychotherapist on a weekly basis. Therapy is both psycho-educational and experiential in nature. As human beings are inherently different, at London Group Therapy we do not slavishly adhere to one therapeutic approach therefore our methods are integrative. This means utilising the most effective aspects of different approaches.
Evidence for group therapy effectiveness:
Group therapy has been established for over 50 years and has proven itself extremely effective in tackling issues of isolation, anxiety, interpersonal problems and depression to name but a few. In some instances particularly where the issue is one of isolation and/or social/interpersonal problems, group therapy can be more effective than one to one therapy.
How does it work?
During group therapy, people often begin to see that they are not alone with their concerns, this can be an extremely cathartic experience.
Interaction between group members is highly encouraged and provides each person with an opportunity to explore and try out new ways of relating in a safe, secure and confidential setting.
We often explore what sort of processes are going on in the group at any one moment in time. The goal being to uncover hidden or implicit meanings and make them more amenable to consciousness. There is often analysis of repeated patterns of relating to others (interpersonal styles) that may or may not be obvious to the individual concerned.
We view the group as a microcosm of the outside world and consistently encourage the development of links between what is going on in the therapy room and experiences outside the group. We note repeating patterns of relating and explore where relationships in the group mirror those relationships of the past and present. There is an open exploration of what psychoanalytic therapists might refer to as "transference" which can be interpreted to literally mean to transfer feelings from previous signiifcant relationships onto the here-and-now. Where problematic we attempt to challenge the processes leading to repeating relational difficulties and suggest and encourage new, more adaptive ways of relating to the individual and to the group.
We address barriers to change in terms of conflicting values and beliefs that make the change we think we want more difficult to achieve. Where appropriate, we also explore models of depression and anxiety disorders in order to better understand our thoughts, feelings and behaviors and how they may interact to keep our problems going.
For an additional charge, there is also the opportunity to "check in" with the group therapist at regular intervals to explore how the experience is going from a personal perspective, discussing patterns of relating to self and others, observed behaviours, personal experience of the group, reviewing initial goals and a planned way forward.