A group experience
Imagining attending a group therapy session. That first time of speaking, of revealing something about yourself in front of a group. Heart racing, sweaty palms, maybe even shaking! You may hear the facilitator say: "just breathe", "keep your feet on the floor" or "you’re ok". It helps yet there is still a desire to run a mile - a true “flight response!”
Then something happens - you begin talking about what's going on for you, you provide a narrative about your heart racing and feeling anxious about the experience. As you begin to reveal everything, the anxiety starts to melt away and calmness begins to come, you even start to feel exhilarated or enjoy the experience. As you reveal more and get into dialogue, you find others feel similar and recognise your bravery in showing some vulnerability and being honest in the group. You realise you're not alone and if you want it, there's support here.
After all, this is the way therapy, certainly in the field of Transactional Analysis, started out. Why are we fearful or reluctant? Maybe the risk feels higher in a group, the risk of not feeling good enough, being judged by more people, being vulnerable - it’s a whole host of things.
However, being in a therapy group can be such a valuable personal experience. Don't get me wrong, 1:1 therapy is very powerful and special, a personal space, just for you. In times that support is needed, you can pull on that introjected voice of your therapist. In times when you need support and can also pull on a whole group of introjected voices, feeling the whole group is behind you or with you is very powerful and valuable. The power of one is amazing, the power of a group is off the scale!
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