3 Ways Group Counseling Can Improve Your Relationships
Many times people just like you seek counseling because you are struggling with an internal issue that is bothersome. Other times, there are problems in romantic relationships, family dynamics, or other types of relationships that are causing you to consider whether counseling might be a good idea for you.
Whether the problem seems to be stemming from internal or external sources, counseling can improve your relationships with others in your life. Group counseling offers a focused place to heal with the support from a group of others who can relate to you. In the process, your relational skills are strengthened as well. Following are three ways in which your relationships can benefit from group counseling.
Being more in-tune with your own emotions can help you connect with other people in what they are going through. There are likely people in your life who are struggling with something similar to you. As you learn to navigate the challenges in your internal and external world, you will have more confidence in your abilities to face those challenges. You will also be in a place to share that confidence with people around you. You are in a unique position to truly relate to their struggle and also share hope from a place of experience.
Having personally walked through a painful season can increase your empathy and deepen connection with others in your life who are now facing something similar. Group counseling is unique in that you will get to practice and receive empathy with a small group of people who are facing their own challenges, just like in day-to-day life.
Vulnerability is a challenge for many of us. Opening up and sharing with others is not an option, or at the very least sounds unpleasant. Yet at the same time, keeping all these things wrapped up tight may make you feel isolated and alone. It can increase feelings of shame, anxiety and depression. Vulnerability is one way to build deeper relationships with others. Because of the structure, expectations and boundaries, group counseling is a great place to test out what vulnerability can be like, without much of the risk that comes with other “real world” relationships.
Bringing Your Whole Self
Oftentimes, a challenging mental health issue, a loss of someone significant, a relationship in turmoil can make you feel like you just can’t show up for your family and friends. The process of counseling in a group setting allows you to give and receive. The counseling setting removes expectations that you will show up “perfectly” every time. You are allowed to be needy, to be hurting, to be vulnerable, and to be real.
When a group of peers all shows up each session with the expectation that this is what is supposed to happen, you allow for the healing and restoration of your whole self. You will process the struggles, you will receive support, you will learn new skills and new ways of interacting. Ultimately, you will reach a place where you can bring your whole self into your relationships again.
Many people find group counseling to be an effective and efficient way to engage in counseling. At the same time, individual counseling can help you achieve the relationship goals you desire as well. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to counseling as every person is so unique. If you are curious about how group counseling fits for you, check out our Intro to Mental Wellness and Counseling Group. It’s a fun, creative and interactive way to test the waters of group counseling. Remember that change is always possible!
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Other Therapy Services Available at Catalyss Counseling:
Here at Catalyss Counseling, we want to meet all of your counseling needs in the Denver area. Our supportive therapists provide depression counseling, therapy for caregiver stress, grief and loss therapy, stress management counseling and more. We also have specialists in trauma and PTSD, women's issues, pregnancy and postpartum depression or anxiety, pregnancy loss and miscarriage, and birth trauma. For therapists, we can also provide clinical supervision! We look forward to connecting with you to help support your journey today.
Alicia Kwande is a psychotherapist, clinical supervisor, and blogger. Alicia helps adults (especially mothers and caregivers) who give all they have to others, leaving themselves with next to nothing. Alicia assists adults in managing their anxiety, depression, work-life balance, and grief and loss. Follow Catalyss Counseling on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.