Group Therapy is an important component of psychotherapy, either after the primary therapy is completed or as a useful adjunct to on-going individual work. Group works on three levels:
- The Interaction Level: In group, you observe and talk with different kinds of people—talkative people, shy people, sad people, angry people, etc. With supportive feedback you learn how you are experienced by others in different conversations and you expand your abilities to stay present during encounters. You develop your ability to hear feedback, take in warmth and appreciation, engage in fruitful conflict, set appropriate boundaries, and ask for what you need.
- The Internal Level: In group, you become aware of your own emotional processes—when do you lose interest and drift off? What makes you collapse and give up? Sharing your self-hate, shame, pride, and other feelings with supportive others helps you resolve painful feelings and claim your own goodness.
- The Past Level: Group has a mysterious way of bringing us back to early relationship experiences. Group members will be similar to your father, mother, sibling, teacher, boss, and spouse. The habitual ways we relate to these figures in our lives come out as we interact with group members. We can untangle the past from the present and see people in our lives more clearly. We can unlatch from old patterns that hooked us into habitual responses.