Group Therapy

A group can provide a nurturing environment within which it becomes possible to make significant life changes.  At County Durham Therapy, we offer different types of group therapy, which fall into 3 categories:

1) Psycho-educational groups

The primary task of these groups is to teach members new ways of coping, with the aim of reducing the severity of their symptoms, for example, anxiety management groups or groups for survivors of sexual abuse.  They are generally targeted at specific symptoms or difficulties and are usually:

  • Short-term (8-12 weeks)
  • Weekly and from 60-90 minutes in duration
  • Fixed in membership (6-8 members)
  • Facilitated by one or two conductors
  • Made-up of strangers who are encouraged not meet outside the group and agree to total confidentiality

2) Long-term, exploratory groups

The function of these groups is to help members to achieve long-term change by providing a space which allows members to ‘have another go at becoming themselves’.  In this way the assumption is that early life experiences have left people feeling unfulfilled and unhappy.  These groups are not targeted at specific difficulties, but are more holistic in nature and are most useful for people who have:

  • Recurrent patterns of feeling depressed
  • Experienced long-term low self-esteem
  • An insecure sense of who they are
  • An awareness of unresolved issues from the past that affect their quality of life
  • Experienced repeated patterns of relationships that have left them feeling unsatisfied

They are usually made-up of strangers who are encouraged not meet outside the group and agree to total confidentiality.  The sessions are weekly, at the same time and place, with planned breaks.

3) Experiential groups

The task of these types of groups is for members to gain awareness of what it is like to be part of a group and experience group-dynamics, which may be as part of a training course, for example.  The frame will usually include

  • A closed membership
  • A time-frame e.g. one year
  • An experienced group-therapist as a conductor
  • Weekly sessions at the same time and place, with planned breaks

The group may be made up of strangers, but is often planned for groups of fellow students as part of the academic curriculum.  They can also be a mix of the two.