Reflection of Group Counseling.
The essay is about a group therapy session that I experienced in Depression Management Group (DMG} as a participant. We were put in groups of six people whom we had a similar problem of depression. To commence, allow me to admit that I personally do not like the group-counseling form of therapy; my involvement with the meeting has been of no impact to me. I have instituted that such session suppresses distinctiveness in the solitary way or another. There is that inclination of group thinking that lowers the sense of self-consciousness; in fact, there is a lowering of an individuals sense of self-awareness. Equally, to think as a group declines the mental and moral independence of an individual.
The group experience
The setting of rules and regulations in the group experience was my first involvement. The session began by setting rules and regulation that every one of us had to abide by them. I do appreciate the rules that were set as they ensured that the therapy was well organized. The rules certified that there were no personal attacks and also respect was upheld by the guidelines set. However, the group instruction regulated the sharing of deeper experiences that were important for offering support to depressed individuals. I have confidence in that the cognitive group orientation is deficient for a therapy. In my view, meaningful group counseling should go beyond a strictly cognitive approach to allow persons to share their deeper personal experiences that can benefit the group as a whole (Brandler et al).
The session commenced by one man sharing his personal life experience that he had difficulties in sharing to friends and classmates. I think the sharing of the experience was initiated by listening to other person’s feelings and needs which encouraged the Individual to speak out his mind. Expressing feelings and thoughts made members feel stronger to share a certain personal experience that helped in modifying the group session. In my own opinion, group therapy helped people to find and develop their voices which defined the challenges the person was going through. The group members had to find remedies to these challenges through motivation and inspiration. I also found that through sharing of experiences, the group as a whole could profit from the man feelings as members could become more sensitive to the stories shared which made them make an adjustment in their collective approaches.
I observed that during the session some personalities seemed to dominate the session which created kind of personal clashes during the session. There were always disagreements during the therapy proceeding as the dominating character tried to rule the entire group therapy proceeding. I remember the character disagreeing that eating a balanced diet could counter depression. This clashes made some individuals not to express their experiences during the session. Our trainer fixed the matter before it developed to more serious clash.
The group therapy session failed to tap into the deeper experience of individuals due to lack of trust in-group members. One simply felt like a convict to some members of the group or the whole group, at least this is my general experience in-group counseling. I personally felt insecure to reveal my experience to members as I totally lacked trust in them. I think the lack of trust in-group members had been influenced by the way some members were rejected after sharing their experiences. In addition, the group therapy paved way for fear of rejection and thereby one could not be in a position of sharing deeper experiences.
Social phobia was also another group therapy shortcoming I experienced, I was nervous during sharing of my experiences to the team. Speaking my mind before the crew was a bit challenging although the session requires the individual to stand in front of the crew to share deeper feelings. The phobia diverged the main format of the session as research had to be carried out in order to identify and get the deeper experience that really caused fright. I think group session therapy cannot work to individuals who never have the courage to address people in a gathering. I regret to admit that am such kind of a person who does not like addressing and sharing information to people in a group and therefore I never shared the deeper feelings and life experiences.
Correspondingly, I experienced that some members passed information and shared opinion during the session that left people in obstructions after sharing their experiences. Some of the group members did not use appropriate means to rectify mistakes done, they really did it in a hostile and emotional way. The fear to receive comments and opinions by group members led to increased fear and depression. This shortcoming indeed increased the problem instead of solving it.
The free interaction of team members was one of the positive experience I learned in group therapy. The therapy offered us with a good channel of interacting and encouraging ourselves when we listened to our fellow’s experiences. This kind of experience helped us to grow freely while establishing new ideas that provided a solution to the experiences that inflicted depression in us. Moreover, the free interaction made us develop new contacts that helped in designing shaping our destiny. New contacts equally helped in obtaining new long lasting friends who offered companion that helped to move out of the isolated world. Friends countered loneliness caused by depression (Brandler et al).
The ability of group therapy to offer growing support to some of us by making people insightful within the team built more energy within us. Furthermore, it praised people for their action instead of condemning them. The praise gave hope for a better future. The criteria used of dividing people into subgroups also provided a profitable way of group members offering inspiration and motivation support amongst. The inspiration and motivation enhanced comfort instead of being tormented by fears and depression within.
Group therapy offered the best interaction with the professionals who offered guidance to us. The counselors interacted with us freely which enable them to give their professional support to us with the help of the information we gave and analysis they carried out. I recall one of our colleagues who had lost her parent and she could not let go but after interaction with the counselors, the girl let it go and she started to focus on her destiny. The girl initially spent most of her time in bed wetting the pillows as she thought that was the end of her endeavor. The counselors and group members really inspired and motivated the twelve-year-old girl until she becomes comforted (Healey et al).
Before concluding this essay, I feel the urge of expressing some of the values required in group therapy for it to be effective even though I did not like it. Genuinely, individuality need not be fully crushed, as some individuals cannot express their experiences in public due to fear of rejection and lack of trust in some of the group members or the entire group. The sense of individuality will enhance protection of individuals who feel that they are personally affected and do not want to express themselves in a gathering (Healey et al).
Passing comments and opinions by group members during the preceding of the session needs to be condemned among the members of the group to avoid frustrations and fear. Passing comments and opinions when someone is forwarding his or her experience to the gathering makes individual feel insecure and depressed after sharing of the information (Brandler et al).
Finally, in order to brand group counseling’s effective, the professionals have a duty to ensure that people gathered in a group forum some benefit from it. Leaders of the groups also should be chosen to safeguard the group and also ensure that the therapy offers productive support. Moreover, the issue of regulation should be upheld in order to obtain effective counseling procedure (Healey et al).
To conclude, the essay mirrors a group healing process with stress based on one specific session. Even though group therapy may have significant help through educating attitudes, I find that individuality is generally suppressed and ignored which renders the meeting uninteresting and unrewarding. This is my understanding of group therapy. Based on my experience nevertheless, I deduct that there may be a group therapy that is more individualistic which can tap to a deeper sense of experiences. Deeper expression of thoughts and feelings encourages positive support to the affected.
Brandler, Sondra, and Camille P. Roman. Group work: Skills and strategies for effective interventions. Routledge, 2015.
Healey, Joseph F., Andi Stepnick, and Eileen O’Brien. Race, ethnicity, gender, and class: The sociology of group conflict and change. Sage Publications, 2018.
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