As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I’ve facilitated Men’s process groups, Women’s process groups, CO-ED process groups, Sports Psychology groups, and Therapist/Life Coach Training groups. I’ve found time and time again that there’s a magical self-transcendence that takes place in them. Individuals are no longer islands unto themselves privately working one-on-one with a therapist. Instead, they become part of a larger collective, and they develop a sense of kinship and belonging with their peers that they don’t have with their closest friends. This is because groups, when capably facilitated, become safe, sacred sanctuaries where people can take off their masks, shed their persona, and become truly vulnerable and authentic. When this happens, people develop self-love, self-compassion, and self-acceptance which in turn frees them to experience the grounded joy that comes from connection to themselves and others.
The common misconception that group therapy provides a forum for self-pity, whining, and passivity couldn’t be further from the truth. On the contrary, group therapy is a very dynamic experience. Group members compassionately challenge each other to stretch beyond their comfort zones in order to expand and grow. As for me, I ask my clients to participate in experiential exercises that help them to think and feel and act in new ways that align with their core values. These exercises are designed to teach these men how to show up in the world and in their relationships in healthy ways that will will fulfill their deepest needs and wants. I also offer my group members teaching pieces on mindfulness, communication, active listening, anger management, relationship dynamics, self-limiting belief systems, the unconscious mind, the super conscious mind, etc. Most importantly, I make it my top priority to have my clients feel deeply seen and truly understood by me and their peers. Before you know it, everyone is learning how to deeply see, understand, and validate each other. Group members become co-creators, challengers, coaches, confidantes, and great friends.
If you’re looking to grow emotionally, psychologically, and/or spiritually, a therapy group is definitely one place where you will do this. As a matter of fact, in my experience as a Marriage and Family Therapist, personal growth, self-transcendence, and self-transformation often take place faster in groups than they do in individual or couple’s therapy alone. In light of this, if you’ve ever wondered about actively participating in a therapy group, by all means give me a call!! I look forward to hearing from you 🙂
John Boesky, LMFT