"The individual is, and always has been, a member of a group, even if his membership of it consists of behaving in such a way that reality is given to an idea that he does not belong to a group at all. The individual is a group animal at war, both with the group and with those aspects of his personality that constitute his "groupishness" … In fact no individual, however isolated in time and space, should be regarded as outside a group, or lacking in active manifestations of group psychology."
Bion, 1961, pp. 168-169
Being part of a group allows us to see the world and ourselves through other people’s eyes and creates an environment where we can experiment with ways of being in the world.
Group psychotherapy is a serious alternative to individual psychotherapy, and in some cases a more appropriate choice. Group therapy offers a different experience from working one-on-one, where the group itself becomes the therapist to its own members, guided by the knowledge and insight of the conductor. We all grow up and live out our lives as members of groups, whether family and friends, school groups and employment. Group therapy enables us to find the freedom to be ourselves as we participate in those groups.
Sometimes group therapy makes psychotherapy available to people who would not normally be able to undertake it - whether because of the expense, or because of work commitments (the groups generally are in the evening and are less expensive than individual therapy).
The groups are set up thoughtfully so the unconscious of the individual members and the unconscious of the group can be observed and understood. Over time the group takes on a life of its own that can stand for something vital in the minds of its members, making use of our fundamental human ability to have one thing stand for another.
These groups meet in Grey Lynn, Auckland and are a mix of men and women with a wide range of issues.
© talkingcure 2008