~ GROUP COUNSELLING ~
Benefits of group counseling:
Group counseling is a process where 4-10 individuals meet weekly with a professional counselor (facilitator) to discuss specific issues. Members are encouraged to give support to one another and to provide feedback to other members. clients build trusting relationships where members feel safe to explore sensitive issues and resolve emotional difficulties. Members work through these issues through discussion, trying out new behaviors, and paying attention to how they interact with and react to one another. It is an opportunity for students learn how to change life situations for the better.
One great benefit of group counseling is that members are able to relate to others who are in a situation similar to their own. This allows members the opportunity/possibility to see how someone else handled a certain problem and provides a model as to how he/she might handle the same problem. It also fosters empowerment, for example, when a member can report to the other members a successful interaction in dealing with a difficult situation outside of the group. Members learn from each other, and many times, grow together emotionally throughout the group process.
Group counseling is also a safe place where you meet with the same individuals each week. The group is generally closed to anyone else once the core members have been established. When people join a group it is requested that they keep the contents of the group discussions confidential. Disclosing group information outside of the group is inappropriate; therefore, it is stressed that what people talk about or share with the group must remain within the group.
How does group counseling work?
Group counseling can be very successful. It requires a commitment on the part of the members and the leader to fulfill the contract that is made during the initial meetings (confidentiality rules and attendance commitments, etc.). When this commitment is made, and members can talk openly about their issues, the work can begin. Group counseling is a reflection of what goes on in "real life." The group setting is a place where the behaviors and emotions that initially brought the individual to group counseling can surface. When this happens, the dynamics of the group actually allow members to practice new behaviors and learn new skills that are more appropriate.
With the support of the other group members and the facilitator(s), members learn that they are not alone. Additionally, members and facilitators offer options and use caring confrontation to challenge negative behavior in other group members so that they may develop more positive behaviors.