About Group Counseling Services
Personal counseling services at the center are often
provided in counseling groups. Each group is conducted by a psychologist
or other counseling professional. Some are focused on special themes
like test anxiety or stress management. Most are general counseling
groups which assist participants in resolving a broad range of personal
issues, including feelings of depression, excessive anxiety and worry,
self-esteem problems, and relationship problems.
What happens in a counseling group?
groups consist of four to eight participants and meet regularly for
about one and one half hours at the same time once each week. It is
important to attend each meeting from beginning to end. At group meetings,
participants discuss their concerns. In some groups, the counselor will
work with each participant individually with few comments from other
participants during the work. Other groups rely more on observations
and discussion from participants with the counselor providing consultation
as necessary to facilitate the work.
How can I be helped in a group when everyone's problems are different?
is unique as are their concerns. Still, as people we have a great deal
in common. (We all grow up in families. We all react to hurt in similar
ways. We all have the same basic capacity to grow and change.) Our experience
has shown that while the problems people bring to counseling can be
quite different, the underlying issues which produce these problems
are often similar.
These root causes of our problems in living have
to do with patterns and habits that we have learned during our formative
years that are not working well for us now in our current life circumstances
or are holding us back. (For example, our families may have taught us
that certain kinds of emotional expression are to be avoided, but now
as we deal with the normal stress of adult life the pent-up feelings
which result from this avoidance produce symptoms like depression, worry
The goal of counseling is to learn about our habits
and patterns of feeling and behavior and how they cause us problems.
We can then learn new habits and patterns which will be more successful
for us. Although it seems strange to think that we might not know ourselves
completely, experience has shown that many of the problem-causing habits
and patterns are things we have done all our life and are so automatic
that we don't even think about them as learned or optional behavior.
Groups provide a special setting in which we can
learn about ourselves, about others, and about ourselves in relation
to others. This can help us to be more effective in our relationships
with others and with ourselves outside the group. It takes time, helpful
observations and support from others to recognize and change our ways
Shouldn't I get individual help?
While individual counseling can be important
for some more severe problems of certain types, experience has shown
that group counseling can often be even more effective for most issues.
Perhaps it is the opportunity to see that some of what we regard as
our most terrible secrets or distasteful aspects of ourselves are really
only common human experiences that is so helpful.
Embarrassment or shame keeps many people from taking
advantage of group counseling. Overcoming these feelings about aspects
of ourselves is an important part of living our lives more successfully.
Group counseling is very helpful in this respect.
Confidentiality and privacy
Everything that is discussed in counseling
groups is considered confidential. It is not to be discussed outside
the group, even with other group participants. Each member signs an
agreement to observe this rule.
If you would like more information, come in and speak with a
professional counselor in 0203 James Hall.
are free and confidential.