WHAT YOU CAN GET FROM BEING IN A THERAPY GROUP
- A safe place to practice and learn how to express your needs in relationships.
- Improve your self-confidence and self-esteem.
- Improve your communication skills.
- Discover the gift of compassion for yourself.
Groups, the antidote for isolation, can enrich ongoing individual therapy. Group members dealing with similar challenges can help each other and grow from that experience. Members give one another the gift of hope and cheer each other on during the dark times, the minor and major victories. There is nothing like sharing in and witnessing fellow group members discovering new ways of coping with challenges, and changing their negative self-images.
Group therapy is a powerful way for people to learn about themselves and practice making changes in how they relate to and experience others. To learn more about groups in general, please read my article The Healing Power of Groups. You can also watch an interesting short clip about what group therapy looks like for clients in a college counseling center on You Tube: Introduction to Group Therapy by Darius Campinha-Bacote - YouTube.
INDIVIDUAL SCREENING & PREPARATION
MAKES FOR STRONGER, HEALTHIER GROUPS
I screen and prepare people carefully for my groups.
I have found that it helps if I meet individually with each person from 3-4 sessions, depending on whether he or she has been in other groups before.
The first appointment allows us to see whether we are a good match and feel we can work well together. We also determine whether he or she would benefit from and contribute to one my groups. I use a collaborative approach to clarify the individual'sl goals for the group experience as distinct from the goals of his/her individual therapy.
MY CURRENT THERAPY GROUPS
Interpersonal Group: This process-oriented, mixed-gender, long-term group is a safe place for high-functioning, increasingly self-aware adults explore life transitions, careers, self-care and intimacy issues. Members increase their awareness of patterns that do not work and explore new ways to create more satisfying relationships.
Chronic Medical Illness and Issues Group: Isolation and depression are common side-effects of chronic pain and both visible and invisible illnesses. This supportive psychotherapy group helps members make the most of life with limitations and add more compassion for themselves. Participants feel safe to freely discuss their experiences and frustrations with others who face similar physical challenges. For more detailed information about this group, see Therapy Groups for Clients: Chronic Illness Group.
The American Group Psychotherapy Association recently asked me to be videotaped for a You Tube clip about the benefits of group therapy, specifically for people with medical issues and illnesses:
Note: All of Dr. Steiner's groups are designed for individuals who have either have been in, or are currently in psychotherapy, are not in crisis, and are motivated to change. There are many groups that are short term or designed to help people who are in crisis. For more information, see group therapy referral resources.
"I want to join you without invading.
Appreciate you without being judgmental,
Love you without clutching,
Love you without demanding,
Leave you without guilt,
Criticize you without blaming,
And help you without insulting,
If I can have the same from you,
Then we can truly meet and enrich each other."
— Virginia Satir
Virginia Satir quote is used with the permission of Virginia Satir's publisher, Bob Spitzer, Science and Behavior Books, Inc. personal communication, 2008. These quotes are taken from I'd Give My Life! A Journey by Folk Music, Eric Darling, page 279, Science and Behavior Books, Inc. 2008.
ABOUT THE GROUP LEADER
Ann Steiner, Ph.D., M.F.T., CGP, (Certified Group Psychotherapist), has been leading psychotherapy groups for 28 years, supervises, trains and consults to therapists. She is a licensed marriage family therapist in private practice in Contra Costa county in Northern California. She is a Fellow of the American Group Psychotherapy Society, was president of Northern California Group Psychotherapy Society, a founding member of the American Orthopsychiatric Association's Disability Study Group and the National Registry of Group Psychotherapists
Dr. Steiner served as an Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of California Medical School, San Francisco for fourteen years and is on the faculty of The Psychotherapy Institute's Group Therapy Training Program. She lectures at professional meetings nationally and locally, and writes for consumers and therapists.
If you have questions about Dr. Steiner's therapy groups, please call her at (925) 962-0060 or send an email along with your phone number, and a variety of times when it would be convenient for her to return your call.
Disclaimer: This website is designed for educational purposes, and is not a substitute for professional medical or psychological care. If you require urgent medical or psychological services please consult a qualified professional in your area, or call 911.
Your Privacy is Important:
An increasing number of therapists discourage sending confidential information over the Internet since the Patriot Act allows the reading of private emails. Additionally there may be other issues with maintaining confidentiality via the Internet.