What is group therapy? Group therapy is a process where 6-12 individuals (or 4-6 couples) meet weekly with Dr. Veurink to discuss specific issues. Group is intended to be a safe place where you meet with the same people each week. The group is closed to anyone else entering it for an agreed upon number of meetings. After this course of group counseling sessions is completed, there may be an opportunity to begin another group with some or all of the original group members continuing on. This would be a likely time when new members could join the group.
The benefits of group: With the support of the other group members you will learn that you are not alone. One benefit of group counseling is that members are able to relate to others who are in a similar situation to their own. This will allow you the opportunity to learn how someone else handled a certain problem and may provide you with a model to emulate.
A second benefit is that group work fosters a sense of empowerment in all the members when someone in the group reports a successful interaction dealing with a difficult situation outside of the group. Members of the group normally learn from each other and grow together emotionally throughout the group process.
How does group therapy work? Group process is a reflection of what goes on in "real life". The group setting is a place where the behaviors and emotions that initially brought the individual to group therapy can surface. (Some of these may have even operated outside of the member’s full awareness.) As a member gains insights into his or her problems, the dynamics of the group actually allow opportunities to practice new behaviors and learn new skills that are more likely to foster a rewarding life.
In other words, discussions in group will offer you an opportunity to better understand yourself and take responsibility for your life situations. Members are encouraged to give support to one another and to provide feedback to other members. This enhances trust and builds cohesion so that members feel safe to explore sensitive issues and resolve emotional difficulties.
You can work through these issues by role playing, trying out new behaviors, and paying attention to how you interact with (and react to) others in the group. Additionally, group members and Dr. Veurink may use caring confrontation to challenge negative behaviors that may become manifest in the group. They will offer you new options to consider. The aim is to develop more positive behaviors that will help you realize the goals that you had upon entering the group.
Agreements necessary for group therapy to succeed: Group therapy can be very successful in facilitating personal growth. However, success requires a commitment on the part of every member to fulfill the verbal contract that is made with the group during the initial meeting. This contract is: a) an agreement by every member to keep the contents of the group discussions confidential, i.e. what is shared with the group must remain within the group, b) a commitment to faithful and punctual attendance at the group meetings and c) a shared understanding that group members will remain with the group for the whole session and not leave in the middle of a working session without explanation to the group. When these commitments are made members can talk openly about their issues and the work can begin.
Limitations to Confidentiality: Dr. Veurink may be permitted or required by law to reveal information that is shared in group counseling to others outside of the group when any of the following circumstances are said to exist: a) you threaten bodily harm or death to yourself or another person, b) you indicate first-hand knowledge of abuse or neglect of any dependent persons such as children, the handicapped or the elderly, c) you forfeit your privilege of confidentiality under certain conditions involving either legal action (such as attempts to use group therapy to avoid prosecution for criminal offenses or certain child custody proceedings) or by public revelations by you of information previously considered held private by the group, d) you engage in behaviors that endanger public safety while employed in a position of special trust, e) you engage in behaviors that could endanger the staff or property of Dr. Reginald Veurink.
Interested in exploring group therapy opportunities further? Contact Dr. Veurink for more information.