We are an ongoing therapy group, listed on Meetup as one of the ways to connect with those who are seeking group therapy for recovery and management of bipolar, depression, and anxiety.
I am a licensed professional counselor who has facilitated the group for 4-1/2 years. It has had several different formats and focuses during these years, including an emphasis on support, skills-building and education for how to get and feel better. It is now entering a new phase in which its primary objective is to promote healing and change through process-oriented therapeutic talk.
Group therapy has been found to be a highly effective form of psychotherapy ---- and is even considered the treatment of choice by some mental health experts for mood disorders and anxiety. The benefits of group therapy provides the following:
• Participants find they are not alone in their struggles.
• State-of-the-art information about bipolar, depression, and anxiety.
• Feedback and caring from other participants.
• Personal benefits derived from giving support and concern to others.
• The development of social skills, and the working through of difficulties in relationships with significant others outside the group.
• Adaptability and flexibility acquired through group interaction.
Would the group be a good fit for you? In general, if you are challenged by bipolar, depression, and/or anxiety, there is promise that this group could be helpful for you. Group participation is not recommended for the following circumstances or conditions:
• If you are in crisis, it would be premature for you to join a group. Individual care to help you stabilize first would be indicated. Crisis is defined as a major life upheaval or strife that increases your stress and symptoms; or as symptoms running high even if no external factor or factors are occurring. Those in crisis often talk anxiously frequently and need much group focus (which is an understandable result of the crisis point). In these cases, individual work is needed before a group could be helpful.
• If you have a sense of loss of reality or disassociation, individual help would be indicated before group work could be effective and meaningful.
In addition, if you are a Medicaid recipient, Medicaid doesn't allow its recipients to pay out-of-pocket for mental health care services, and these group meetings would not be allowable for you. If you would like resources for no-cost group help in the metro area, please let me know.
You could find the group beneficial if you:
• Are seeking change.
• Are open to influence from other participants.
• Are interested in helping shape the group by attending regularly, giving the group some time to potentially provide a positive effect, and becoming active in the maintenance of group relationships and dynamics.
If you are interested in attending the group, please email me via Meetup or at email@example.com, or call me at 303-709-7834.
The following are guidelines to potentially achieve the best possible experience for each participant.
1. Please be on time, as late arrivals are disruptive to the group meeting process.
2. Only share what you feel comfortable sharing; and if you’d prefer, it’s okay to just listen.
3. Please respect confidentiality outside the group meetings by refraining from talking about the details of what individuals shared.
4. Treat one another with care and compassion to further help create a safe place to share. This involves:
· Allowing for differences of opinion, and respecting the differences of others.
· Trying to understand another’s perspective from his or her point of view.
· Avoiding taking a superior stance.
· Avoiding criticism.
· Using “I” statements, such as “I feel…”, “I’d prefer…”, “I’d like…” rather than using “You” statements, such as “You should”, “You’d better…”, “You’re wrong…”.
5. Please do not conduct side conversations while another participant is speaking.
6. As we strive to give each participant an equal opportunity to share and to have the group meeting focus, please be mindful to share what is essential to you in a concise manner.
7. Although giving some background information may be helpful for others to better understand the context of your concerns, issues presented are best described as they pertain to your symptoms of bipolar, depression, and/or anxiety.
8. Contact between participants outside of group meetings is encouraged as a further resource for support, and for working on skills and healthier ways of living.
9. Dating relationships between participants is allowable. However, it is essential that dating relationships be disclosed to the other participants. Openness in this regard helps promote better connection among all participants, and provides greater ability for the participants to be helpful by an understanding of the context of important relationships among participants.
Please note that feedback and suggestions are welcome anytime regarding these guidelines.