If you had asked me a year ago what I thought about support groups, or group therapy in general, I’d say they weren’t my thing and that I’d rather stick with seeing my individual therapist. Well, I was in for a surprise when I had to participate in a counseling group as a requirement for my graduate program classes in counseling.
This was a unique opportunity because I was learning about the theory of group therapy facilitation while simultaneously participating in my own group therapy experience.
That 12-week group experience is what drastically changed my view of support and process groups. And now, after experience in groups in my graduate program and my time co-facilitating groups here at Catalyss Counseling, I can tell you that I am now a confident advocate for group counseling.
So, what changed in the last year to shift my ideas about group therapy? To put it simply, I changed. And I allowed the experience of the group—and the members in it—to matter to me.
I realize that’s a really brief summary of my experience so I also want to outline several key takeaways from my first time in group therapy and what I would share with anyone looking into joining a group for themselves. Below are three ways a support group can be a powerful tool and catalyst for the changes and healing you’re working toward.
3 Ways Support Groups Can Support Your Healing Process
1. You learn that you’re not alone in your experience: In group theory, this is called universality: It essentially means that you’re able to hear the stories and experiences of other people and learn that you’re not alone in your own human experiences. What a gift it is to not feel like you’re the only one who’s going through it.
2. You have the opportunity to pause. With support groups, you have a dedicated time each week (or every other week) that you know you’ll have space to vent about what’s going on in your life or what's been challenging that day or week. But you also have the opportunity to support others in your group—whether with just your presence or simply how you can relate to what they’re going through.
3. You can receive feedback from other group members.
I’ll be honest, I saved this one for last because, in my opinion, this might be the most transformative part of participating in a group. Feedback from other people can help you to consider the stories you’ve told yourself about how you present yourself in relationships or social situations and if those are actually true to how others experience you.
For example, you might think that you are perceived as stand-offish or hard to get to know. In the group, one or more members may tell you that they actually perceive you as being a warm presence and someone that really wants to get to know you better!
If I could talk to anyone who’s on the fence about getting support in this format, these are the insights I’d want to leave you with. They are just a few examples of what I’ve experienced personally in my own group experiences—all from a converted skeptic! Support groups offer a truly unique opportunity to connect with others and allow them to really see you (if you let them!)—to offer you a soft place to land despite the challenges, expectations, or pressures of life you might be navigating.
Get Connected to a Support Group at Catalyss Counseling
We currently have various support and process group offerings available at Catalyss Counseling—like our Men’s Support Group and Postpartum Support Group which are currently running or the ADHD Support Group that is now enrolling! If you’re interested in learning more, you can check out all of our other group offerings and details about next steps right here!
How We Can Help
We are currently enrolling FOR THE MENTAL HEALTH STARTER KIT
For adults who are new to counseling and want to learn useful skills, make changes in your life, and understand what therapy is about.
Interested in registering for the group? Fantastic! Please use the link below to get more information and sign up.
If you are looking for general support, or if you would like to talk to someone more about how we can help you, follow these simple steps:
Contact us today for a free 20-minute phone consultation
Begin your journey towards a calmer, more relaxed life
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.