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Group Counseling

Group Therapy is often useful when the subject matter is conducive to sharing ideas. It provides the opportunity to discuss your thoughts and receive suggestions from people going through the same experience as you are.

One of the main principals behind group counseling is the idea that dealing with specific issues may cause isolation, and a feeling that one is alone in facing one’s problems. Group counseling attempts to counteract this isolation by assembling people with similar issues to enforce that difficulties are not singular to one person. Additionally, knowing other people with similar troubles can be comforting to each individual who may not have access in their own family and friends to people with the same problem.

Group counseling may be highly organized, with people doing specific activities together and then sharing the results. Alternately, it may be more freeform, where people share current issues related to the group’s purpose. One person’s verbal contributions to a group might be discussed, validated, and provoke problem solving by other group members in a session. It might also be an entry into a discussion regarding a certain aspect of an illness or condition that is then primarily led by the therapist.

Length of group therapy also varies. Group counseling may take place for a defined period of time. Conversely, it may be open-ended, allowing people to drop in as needed. Usually more freeform groups are open to drop-ins, and may last for an indefinite period of time. More organized groups may last for a certain period of time, and require materials, study books, or the like. These groups may require a time commitment and a payment upfront or registration.

What makes group counseling work?

When people come into a group and interact freely with other group members, they tend to recreate those difficulties that brought them to counseling in the first place. Under the skilled direction of a group facilitator, the group is able to give support, offer alternatives, or gently confront an individual. In this way, the difficulty is resolved, alternative behaviors are learned, and the individual develops new social skills or ways of relating to people. Group counseling has been found to be a very effective means of treatment and, in some cases, the best form of treatment for a particular individual or a particular type of concern.

What are the benefits of group counseling?

In a group, you can:

·         Learn more about how you are perceived by others.

·         Experience a sense of acceptance and belonging.

·         Discover that you are not alone in the difficulties you are experiencing.

·         Hear ideas from others which enhance your ability to make decisions and solve problems.

·         Benefit from the experience of being helpful to others.

·         Learn to constructively express your feelings and ideas to others.

·         Gain encouragement by observing the successes of others.

What about confidentiality?

The responsibility for confidentiality is shared among the group leader(s) and all group members. Every member of each therapy group is required to sign to agree to adhere to rules of confidentiality. Group members make a personal pledge that nothing occurring in the group, including names of other group members, will be shared with anyone outside of the group. These rules are critical to the development of a safe, respectful, and trusting atmosphere which allows individuals to openly share their feelings.


If you feel you could be helped by participating in a group let me know. Some past groups have centered on Parenting Skills and Styles, Anger Management, Raising Teens in Tokyo, Adapting to a New Environment, and Communication Styles. Presentations and Workshops can also be done in group format. I am always open to suggestions for additional group ideas.

Groups are organized according to need. Fees vary.