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Re: Group therapy - way too long Mair

Posted by Dinah1 on May 18, 2002, at 18:11:54

In reply to Re: Group therapy - Dinah, posted by Mair on May 17, 2002, at 22:45:30

I sort of think that about groups sometimes too. But then I remember that therapy groups are not solely supportive in nature, and that, as Mark says, a lot of input comes from the other participants. And they may not be as skilled in confrontation as a professional. (How's that for putting something gently?)

I don't know that I'm unique precisely, but I do know that I have social deficits. Some of them (for example, lack of eye contact, appearing judgemental and rigid, etc.) might be something I could work on in a group. Others (for example, inability to convey emotions, flat affect) I think may just be hard-wired and anyone who wants to get close to me may just have to learn to live with them. Still others I don't want to change (for example, I often see things differently than others, but that's ok with me.)

I've tried non-therapy support groups such as Recovery Inc. and I always run into problems, usually with the group-speak involved. Recovery Inc. particularly requires that you phrase anything you say in a particular way. I understand the reasoning behind it, because I'm sure it serves to distance you from your emotions. However that isn't really my problem. I'm distanced enough, thank you kindly.

I agree that PSB sometimes serves a lot of the function group therapy might. And as I'm sure you know, I run into problems at PSB too. :)

I don't know. I value greatly the friendships I made on PSB and in chat. And I do see that there is in me a need to connect with others, however much I might not like that fact. And I don't do it at all well, particularly in person. And to the extent group therapy could help me do that I imagine it would be a good thing.

Since my best friend (my only friend really) died I have been aware of how little connection I have in my life. Except for the friends I made here, my only connections are to my immediate family and to my therapist. There is no one else now. Her death really made me aware of my emotional isolation. But isolation is safe too, so there is a push-pull attraction-repulsion thing going on with it.

So I don't know. And my therapist doesn't know either. He obviously feels even more strongly than I do that I need to improve my interpersonal skills with the goal of forming more intimate relationships. But he also knows that my isolation protects something real and that I am not terribly stable, and that group could threaten that stability. He was far more in favor of it before, I think, than he is now that he knows me better.

So I don't know. What does your therapist think of the idea of group therapy? Have you brought it up with her?


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