Group therapy is a very spread therapy technique nowadays and is manifested as a group of people which meet with a pre-established frequency to share experiences, to discuss them, to interact in various ways and sometimes just talk, all of these taking place under the guidance of a leader, who is, in fact, the therapist himself or herself.
The idea of a group is very beneficial in therapy because it helps constructing a safe, trust based environment, in which the members feel comfortable to talk about any of the issues that bother them or just discover the ones that affected them in a negative way. A good tool for this purpose is talking with the other members, which always helps increasing the level of insight and becoming more aware of their thoughts and behavior aspects, as well as becoming more open to communication if such problems existed before starting the group therapy. Taking part at this kind of psychosocial activities always help patients who feel isolated and eventually they get drawn into group interactions.
Gestalt therapy, unlike many other therapies, is a humanistic approach for an increased awareness level concerning a individual’s thoughts and behavior that exist in the present, rather than the ones in the past. The therapist has no assessment duties in a way that he doesn’t interpret or judge the patient’s experiences, but works together with him or her to better understand himself or herself. The patient is encouraged to identify, accept and focus on his or her needs and also to satisfy them as much as possible.
Even if Gestalt therapy is employed with a lot of success in groups of medium and large sizes, it is also used in some cases of one to one therapies, as well as in couple, family and children therapy. In every case, the patient or the patients are guided towards becoming aware of the present thoughts, feelings and emotions and bring to front the ones that formed and reside in the unconscious. By revealing them, they can easier accept them and, in this way, they get rid of some repressed energy that is generally felt like a burden by the psychic.
One of the most efficient techniques employed by Gestalt therapy is role playing. The patient is asked to imagine that an object is associated to a person or a specific problem he or she has and then to talk to it. The patient can express feelings that he or she has towards that impersonation and get the feeling that he is getting reactions to his actions. This is not a superficial technique how it might be seen by some or it might sound, it has proved to work very well in uncovering buried issues and repressed feelings.
A patient usually gets in a therapy group after a proper process is carried out. It starts with a psychologist or a psychiatrist who recommend the patient to attend to a group therapy. After that, there are a couple of interviews that are meant to conclude if a particular group is suitable for the patient or if the patient is a positive addition for that particular group.
Category: Gestalt Therapy