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What is Group Therapy?

In group therapy, four to eight people meet either face-to-face or online with one or two group therapists and talk about what is troubling them. Members give feedback to each other by expressing their own feelings about what someone says or does. This interaction gives group members an opportunity to try out new ways of behaving and to learn more about the way they interact with others. What makes the situation unique is that it is a safe system. The importance of confidentiality (not discussing the content of group session outside of group) is stressed with all members. Members work to establish a level of trust that allows them to talk personally and honestly. Group trust is enhanced when all members make a commitment to the group

Group Therapy Offerings for Fall 2021

  • Anxiety Management - Meets Thursdays 1:00 - 2:30 PM
    • Four sessions that are designed to teach skills to manage anxiety. Topics covered are:
      • Understanding Anxiety
      • Relaxation, Mindfullness, and Self-soothing
      • Addressing Behaviors
      • Managing Anxious Thoughts
  • Thrive - Meets Friday's 1:30 - 3:00 PM
    • Thrive is a strength, skill building group that helps participants strengthen their resiliency to cope with mental health concerns and general life issues. The goal is to improve one's mental health and overall wellbeing.
  • Mindfulness - Meets Friday's 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • The Mindfulness Training Group is designed to help students learn and apply the principles of mindfulness practice to everyday life. The group is structured around practicing formal mindfulness medication in a group setting with discussion focused on deepening personal understanding of what it means to be more mindful in life. Students will be expected to commit to attending weekly group session throughout the semester. The Mindfulness Group is a nice adjunct to individual therapy and is especially effective for addressing anxiety.
  • Cope and Connect during the Pandemic - Meets Wednesday's 1:30 - 3:00 PM
    • The group will provide a safe environment for students to find a sense of connection and shared understanding. The goal is for participants to achieve a greater sense of self-understanding and strengthen connections with friends, family and partners.

Why Does Group Therapy Work?

Group therapy is sometimes the most effective way of learning and growing. Here are some ideas about why this form of therapy can be so helpful.

  • Once can learn about both oneself and relationships in a group therapy setting. We often learn most about ourselves when we share our experiences and emotions honestly with other.
  • We also learn about ourselves when we get feedback from other people.
  • Knowing that others have histories and feelings similar to ours can help us feel less alone. As we help others learn about themselves, we often understand ourselves better. Seeing others grow from hurt and pain into creative solutions can sometimes give us hope and ideas.
  • Since the roles we play in life tend to be the same roles we adopt in group, experiences inside group, when we understand them, can teach us about experiences outside group.
  • The dependability and honesty of group members to each other can rebuild trust and self–worth, both in others and ourselves.

How to Get the Most Out Of a Therapy Group

  • Be yourself. Start from where you are, not where you think others want you to be. If you are having a difficult time knowing how to discuss your feelings, ask the group to help you. At times, just knowing what to say can feel uncomfortable.
  • Take time for yourself. You have the right to take group time to talk about yourself. Some group members hesitate to focus on themselves because they feel that others need the time or their own concerns are not as important as other group members. By understanding your reluctance to talk, you begin the growth process.
  • Be aware of censored thoughts and feelings. We are taught to censor what we communicate to others. Learning to express your thoughts and feelings without censorship in a safe setting is the first step towards self-awareness and the resolution of uncomfortable feelings.
  • Take risks. The group setting is an excellent place to experiment with different ways of behaving and expressing yourself. By taking risks, you can discover what works for you and what does not.
  • Give and receive feedback. Giving and receiving feedback is a major aspect of group therapy. The best way to get feedback is to request it, especially from specific individuals whose impression means the most from you. Giving feedback is enhanced when you express your thoughts and feelings and avoid giving advice or solutions unless these are specifically requested.
  • Be patient with yourself and the group. Growth takes time, effort and patience. It may take a number of sessions before members have enough trust to be open and for the process to work. The leader will help create an atmosphere of trust.

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ULifeline

Online resource for college mental health

http://www.ulifeline.org/UKansas/