Common Questions and Myths about Group Therapy and Workshops
“I do not feel comfortable talking in a group or sharing my problems with people I do not know.”
- It is common to feel uncomfortable at times when sharing, though most find their level of safety and willingness to talk increases as the group progresses.
- Individuals generally look forward to group because they feel connected to other members, and because they start to feel a sense of pride and confidence as they build new skills.
- Being able to have the ability to express yourself in any setting, when you choose to, can feel empowering and liberating.
“If I am in group, I will not get enough attention or may not get my needs met.”
- Group members are often surprised by the material they can cover in group or how their concerns are being addressed even when others are speaking.
- Recognizing how your own experiences may be related or how you can connect with another member can also help you to learn from others and to facilitate personal growth.
- If you find that that feeling like you are not getting your needs met is a pattern for you, experiment with ways you can get your needs met in group. This may include asking the group for what you want or sharing your concerns aloud.
“In group I am expected to disclose my deepest secrets.”
- Members will be encouraged to share at a level that feels comfortable for them.
- The group leader or other members may invite you to discuss your reactions or personal concerns, but you will never be forced to do or share something you do not want to.
- While many group members have reported feeling relief or an increased sense of understanding and acceptance after disclosing, it is accomplished within their personal time frame.
“The group will be comprised of over 20 other group members.”
- Most therapy groups that focus on discussion have 6-9 members and 1-2 facilitators.
- Workshops are primarily educational and focus on skill building; attendance varies each week, and may include between 1-6 students.
“How will talking in this group be different than me just talking to my friends?”
- Research shows that group therapy is an effective form of treatment – equivalent and sometimes more effective than individual therapy.
- Group therapy helps people share in a more genuine way, which helps them address the heart of their struggles and find improvements in their symptoms or concerns
- Each group has trained counselors in attendance who help deepen the discussions and aid in creating a more meaningful and healing experience.
“What if another member of the group is my friend or classmate?”
- You are not asked to be in a group with someone that you already know or are not comfortable with. The facilitators can help you explore the extent of the relationship and make adjustments as needed. We will work with you to find the best fit and solution for your level of safety and comfort.
“My problems are not as bad as others or are worse than others – so I won’t fit in or benefit.”
- Elie Wiesel, a concentration camp survivor, stated “We all lose when we compare suffering.”
- Group may provide a place for you to experience compassion for yourself and others, without having to decide who went through the worst experience.
- Relief can come when we recognize that we are not alone in our struggles.
”The group will look like the ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’ groups I have seen on TV”
- Students report that groups and workshops look very different when compared to how they are portrayed on TV.
- The group and workshop facilitators strive to be dynamic, creative, and respectful. Students do not need a diagnosis or label to participate.
- The CWC encourages students to view themselves as unique, multifaceted individuals, and are thus not asked to define or view themselves in any particular way.
“Will this be another place for me to be judged?”
- People who have found a social group or organization to be painful or harmful in the past may find this is to be a great opportunity to heal from these experiences.
- Many have used the group as a way to create more positive experiences and have benefited from the opportunity to feel valued, accepted, and validated by others.
- Group members frequently report an increased sense of understanding and acceptance, and find that other group members can often relate to them about concerns they felt were uniquely their own.
“Hearing other member’s problems will make me feel or get worse.”
- Group members report gaining satisfaction, meaning, and a sense of connection by hearing others struggles and successes.
- Participating in group can help you learn to sit with others who are suffering, as well as increase tolerance of your own suffering, in a way that is compassionate and helpful.
- Hearing other’s experience can also be uplifting, provide hope and inspiration, and provide relief as you recognize that you are not alone.
“If I decide I do not like the group, can I just stop coming?”
- We ask that you commit to attending at least six sessions to give the group experience chance and time to work for you.
- We encourage you to discuss your concerns in the group - namely things that are or are not working. Having these discussions can often be a turning point in the group where you can more effective work to improve your experience.
- If you continue to feel your needs are not being met, we can work with you to explore other options.