A new opportunity for Group Psychotherapy

Group Psychotherapy Online

Group psychotherapy online

In times of isolation and little community or family support, a facilitated online group offers something unique. This mode of group therapy is based on both Group Analysis and Core Process Psychotherapy, and the emphasis is on presence in relationship.

What we offer to others in the group, we also receive ourselves. Sharing of yourself not only benefits you, but the others too, who will resonate with aspects of your experience. In this way, we learn from what each person brings, whether a dream or your feelings about your boss at work. You’re asked to be mindful and listen to others before jumping in, and to offer some reflections of your own on the arising themes,

A psychological understanding is brought to the group process. Your responses to other people are an important part of the group experience for everyone. This model of psychotherapy is connecting and powerful, and it will give you material to reflect upon that you can apply in your life.

The experience of difference is healthy in a therapy group; rather than people who are similar and hold similar views, you want variety. We do not discuss political or social topics per se, but your individuality is valued. Diversity in the group allows you to be affected by the perspectives and lives of very different individuals

When to choose group psychotherapy?

Group psychotherapy can be the treatment of choice when you want to work on your relationships with others, your relational style, the way other people perceive you, issues of social anxiety, shyness, social isolation, being cut off from family members, or longing for a functional family environment. We all need a supportive community behind us, a sense of belonging, and to feel encouraged to be ourselves in the world. This can help you build some solid confidence to bring into your everyday life and projects.

This is a warm, facilitating environment that supports you to mature and develop in new ways that may have been difficult for you up till now. In effective group psychotherapy, a holding matrix is created over time that enables all of the participants to grow and develop from a shared base. When the group is conducted by someone with specialised group training and experience, it can be profoundly nourishing, a circle where everyone comes together as equals,. The group or community aspect is in itself therapeutic, when it is held and directed effectively, and a strong therapeutic culture is maintained.

Group psychotherapy is cheaper, although this is not to say it offers you less – in many ways, it offers you more

Some differences between group and individual psychotherapy

The focus of the group is often the interactions in the group and people’s responses to the material, and not solely the material brought by each participant. Thus the time is not divided up equally between everyone in the group, because it is understood that when you bring something, it is directly relevant to everyone, and everyone can benefit and learn from it. Having said this, there are many opportunities to bring and discuss the challenges you are facing, whatever they may be. Your level of participation in the group is something we can discuss during the assessment process.

Group psychotherapy supports your independence and resilience differently to one-to-one psychotherapy, just like the wider extended family and tribe once did. The energy of the group is directed towards your strength, resilience, confidence, courage and creativity, whereas in individual work you may focus more on uncovering and revealing to yourself the effects of your original family dynamics, your personal story. The one-to-one therapeutic relationship allows you to experience the less integrated and developed parts of you so that they can be given close personal attention. The group experiences emphasises your reaching more of your potential in daily life, and being with peers who always have your back.

The advantages of group psychotherapy online

An online therapy group can offer the experience of nourishing support and energetic connection, sharing and co-participation – when hosted by a conductor who is experienced in holding online groups, who believes in the value of working online, and has been able to make it work. It is convenient to attend from home provided you have a room where you will not be interrupted.

When individual psychotherapy may be preferable

This mode of therapy is not recommended when you have a strong need for individual work, so that you would feel that if someone else is taking time in the group that this is taking time away from you. You need some tolerance and acceptance of others, and to enjoy being in the company of people with different views and life experiences to your own. Group therapy may be challenging – but not impossible – if you have never done any work on yourself before. It can be a good choice when you’ve completed a period of individual psychotherapy, or you attended therapy some years ago, and you would value stretching your wings within a safely held group.

The Practicalities

Confidentiality in the group is essential, and you are asked to commit to never discuss other people in the group or to reveal their identities. You do not have to use your real name, but you are asked to have both camera and microphone on unless you are interrupted or your space is noisy.

You are asked to attend at least two individual assessment sessions online to help prepare for the group. This is to enable us to begin to make a working alliance, and so that I can understand and support your needs and wishes in the group. The cost for two assessment sessions is £130.00

The sessions are Thursday evenings 7.30-9pm UK time, 35 sessions a year, with breaks during school holiday times. The fee is £73.00 per calendar month, paid on the 20th of each month. There are no sessions during August but the fee is averaged out over 12 months. Sessions are currently held on Zoom. An individual link for each session is sent to you in advance, by email. Times and dates can sometimes be negotiated with the agreement of the other group members.

You are asked to make a commitment for three months at the outset as the group cannot function if people drop in and out. The format of the group is “slow open” which means new people are invited over time as others leave. The minimum number for the group is 4, and the maximum 9.

If you may like to join the group, please complete the form, and we can arrange a phone conversation.