Is social anxiety ruining your life?
Do you want to improve your communication skills?
Are you afraid to speak up for yourself?
If you answered ‘yes’ to one or more of these questions, group therapy may be right for you.
One of the advantages of group therapy is the opportunity to learn from other members’ experiences. For example, you will hear how others have dealt with their depression, anxiety or relationship problems. Hearing what’s worked — as well as what hasn’t — from a group of peers often gets people focused on making significant changes in their lives.
Another advantage of group psychotherapy is the comfort in knowing that other people have had similar experiences. You’ll discover you’re not as alone or as different as you may have thought. (“I thought I was so weird” is a common statement made by group members early in treatment.) The group can quickly become a source of tremendous strength and support.
Since group therapy focuses so heavily on interpersonal interactions, it’s a modality most effective for people who are anxious, socially isolated or who have difficulty with issues of trust, intimacy and self-esteem. Those are the kinds of clients we often see for group therapy.
It is the therapist’s job to moderate the discussion, highlight patterns of behavior and create a safe and supportive atmosphere. We encourage group members to honestly express their thoughts, feelings and reactions to one another. In doing so, they not only connect to one another in a genuine way but also learn important skills such as assertiveness and trust-building.
Our hope is that you gain enough confidence from practicing new skills in our group therapy sessions to use them in the rest of your life. In that way, group therapy is a laboratory of sorts.
A few guidelines: As with most things in life, the more you participate the more likely you are to benefit, but it’s up to each group member to decide how much to disclose. No one will ever be forced to talk.
Consistency of attendance is key to your progress — as well as that of other group members — so please let your therapist know prior to the first session if you will be able to attend all therapy sessions. Sessions are held weekly, usually from 7-8:15 pm and typically run for either 10 or 12 consecutive weeks. Groups are limited to eight members.
Some clients attend only group therapy, while others attend both individual counseling and group. That’s a decision based on your specific needs, one that you and your therapist will discuss together.
Jehari Jones, LICSW, Matt Sosnowsky, LICSW, and Barbara Donesky, LICSW, provide group therapy. Ms. Jones’ 12-week anxiety group (27-32 year-olds) is already underway. She plans on running two more anxiety groups for young adults in the spring. Matt Sosnowsky will also offer a group for young adults in the spring.
The cost per session for group therapy is $75, and it is often insurance reimbursable. To sign up for any of the upcoming groups, or for more information about them, please call Leah Sugarman at 202.588.1288 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.