While individual therapy is an essential part of processing life events and building your distress tolerance, we strongly believe in, and encourage group therapy.
Curious About What Group Therapy Looks Like?
An effective group takes a lot of work and faith to develop. As a new member in a psychotherapy group, these ground rules and accompanying notes have been prepared to help you understand the conditions that are essential to a successful group.
The Group Contract
To obtain the greatest benefit from an Interpersonal therapy group, it is crucially important that you be able to give and receive feedback. Group therapy is far more effective if group members talk openly about their feelings and observations that they have about each other’s behavior and communication style in the group. If you are unable to do this, we will be happy to help you find another group that may be a better match for you.
To help you benefit most from your group experience, you agree to:
- Talk about the issues and problems that prompted you to join the group.
- Tell the emotionally meaningful stories of your life.
- Verbally communicate your immediate thoughts and feelings about yourself, the group leaders, and the group members.
- Take an equal share of the total talking time.
- Put all thoughts and feelings into words, not actions.
- Agree not to leave the group before you complete or resolve what you came to the group to address.
The rate for group psychotherapy is on a per session basis. You are charged for the group even when you do not attend the group. The reason for being charged when you are absent is that you are being charged for slots that are reserved for you. You are provided 1 absence free of charge from January to June and 1 from July through December as long as you let the therapist know more than 2 business days out. Finally, you agree to pay your bill completely by the end of each session.
You agree that you will not reveal the identity of any other member of the group either by name or identifying material. Group members do not feel free to be completely open with their most intimate feelings if they think they will be talked about outside of the group.
You agree to be in the group at the time it starts and stay until it finishes. Regular attendance and punctuality enhanced the value of the group for each member. Such cohesiveness creates a climate of work, support, and success. In the event of your inability to or decision not to attend a session, a telephone call to this effect is expected. Group will begin and end promptly at the designated times.
You are allowed to join the group only if you are willing to make a six-month commitment. This agreement assures that members “dropping in” for one or two sessions and then dropping out of the group will not disrupt the group process.
This agreement also ensures that you will make enough of a commitment to benefit from the group.
No Drugs or Alcohol
You are not to come to the group, at any time, under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Graduation Versus Termination From Group
You are to give at least four weeks' notice prior to graduation. When you begin thinking about discontinuing psychotherapy, you are expected to discuss this in the group prior to making your final decision. Graduation from group therapy is a time of joy and sharing, which has been thought out and discussed with the group.
On the other hand, you may make a decision to terminate at a point in therapy when you are beginning to face some critical issues that you are attempting to avoid by leaving the group. The input of other group members is extremely valuable at this point. While no one needs the permission of the group to discontinue psychotherapy, it is in the spirit of growth that leaving the group will be discussed in the group. Terminating group without notice has a detrimental effect on you and the group and is likely to represent the continuance of the same problem behavior for which you came to the group in the first place. This time also allows for good-byes and the resolution of any unfinished issues between you and other group members.
Contact Between Group Members Outside Of Group
There is no contact with anyone outside of the group. If you happen to find yourself in a situation, where you do connect with another group member, you bring that experience back to group.