what you can expect in group

How will I learn and grow by being in a group?

The basic assumption of group therapy is that the way you interact in relationships at home and at work and how you handle closeness and intimacy will be replicated and played out with other group members. As each  member allows themselves to become more fully known and takes risks to be more vulnerable, authentic and emotionally honest, hidden aspects of themselves also become more knowable. This slow, transformative process yields enormous insight into how relationships work and what role you play in bringing people closer to you or pushing them away.

How is group therapy different from individual therapy?

While you talk about struggles in individual psychotherapy, group therapy enables you to actually live them out. Evidence-based research shoes that group therapy is more effective than individual therapy, especially when interpersonal difficulties are a primary concern or when alienation, isolation, or lack of support exacerbates a person’s symptoms of depression or anxiety. 

How Do Process Groups Work?

Scott Conkright Psychotherapy – Atlanta

Interpersonal Process Groups are groups of 5-8 individuals who meet on a weekly basis for 60 minutes and have a shared desire for self understanding and commitment to strive for authenticity. While the specific focus of each group varies, all members are psychologically minded, have had previous or current individual psychotherapy, and have attended the Relationship Workshops. This prepares them to do the more advanced psychological work of an interpersonal process group. 

Members are responsible for talking about what is currently troubling them. In general, there is not a specific theme or topic to discuss. Members are encouraged to support and give feedback to others and work with the responses that other members bring to them. 

As individuals begin to interact freely with other group members, they usually re-experience or recreate some of the interpersonal difficulties that prompted them to seek therapy in the first place. Within the context of a safe, supportive therapeutic atmosphere, the group can point out these troublesome interpersonal patterns by providing honest feedback. Thus, the group provides members the opportunity to witness how their behavior impacts others and how, in turn, they are impacted by others.

The Role of Trust & Vulnerability

During the first few sessions of a group or when a new member joins, I guide members in learning and practicing emotionally open and honest communication to establish trust with one another. This, with time and a commitment to open and honest sharing, fosters an environment where members feel safe to care about and help each other.  

New members are often amazed at how much their contributions impact others. Group trust is enhanced by each individual’s commitment through consistent attendance and their authentic, genuine, and open engagement with one another. By examining what is happening in the group by exploring feelings, thoughts, and desires during each session, the group deepens its experience of intimacy and vulnerability. The ongoing process of exploration and connection facilitates deeper insight about your relationship patterns so that you can establish healthier, more satisfying relationships in and outside of the group. 

Unexpressed Feelings & Conflict Resolution

Unexpressed and unacknowledged feelings are a major cause of distress in intimate relationships (starting with themselves!). Internal conflict can turn to overt conflict with others, or an unhealthy avoidance of disagreement. If you have true closeness and honesty with others, disagreement and conflict become part of the natural process of understanding others. 

Group therapy offers the experience of maintaining real connection, not just despite disagreement or conflict, but by working through conflict in a healthy, appropriate way. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, repairing ruptures in relationships builds the sense of trust, closeness, and intimacy. My groups encourage tolerating the discomforts of intimacy and expanding your capacity to experience the value of feelings of anger, frustration, resentment, sadness, disgust, fear, and most importantly, shame.  

As a group gently stretches and leans into these new–and sometimes uncomfortable–relational experiences, it begins to heal and grow. My groups help you get “unstuck” and can help youdevelop the type of self-actualization you have been dreaming, creating and nurturing deeply
fulfilling relationships and work towards meaningful happiness.