The power of group counseling to change lives still amazes me after more than 30 years of practice! Intimacy forms quickly and members support, comfort and challenge one another creating a powerful format for personal growth. Helping others actually increases self esteem!
GROUPS currently running:
Two Evening groups
Monday Women's Group 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Thursday Women's Group 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Two Daytime Groups
Friday afternoon Women's Group 1:00 to 2:30 pm
Friday afternoon Women's Group II 3:30 to 5:00 pm
WHAT IS GROUP COUNSELING?
Group counseling is a powerful model of counseling which combines the skill of the therapist with the support and insights from the whole group. Some fear that group will be ineffective because members have to "share" the therapist's time, the truth is quite the opposite. Once the group atmosphere is established as safe, women find themselves opening up and sharing only to find they share many similarities with the others in the group.
Below are comments frequently heard from group members over my 30 years of providing group therapy. Group is an amazing healing experience for most people.
"I thought I was the only one who had this problem in my life. Now I don't feel so alone."
"I couln't wait to get to group and share my news!"
"I share things with the women in this group that I have never shared before because I know they care about me and won't judge me."
"When I first came into this group, I really felt bad about myself. In here I've learned that others really think highly of me and I feel better about myself."
"At first, I wondered if I fit in. I thought 'What can I learn from these women? They aren't going through exactly what I'm going through.' But I found that it didn't matter; in fact I felt great as I found that regardless of our differences and differing circumstances, we all got so much from supporting one another, and Connie teaches us ways to cope better."
Why join a group when I can just do individual counseling?
- Group is cost effective. Each session is only $25.
- Group allows you to "try out" new ideas by talking with the group before moving forward on some decisions in your life.
- Group helps remove the loneliness that women sometimes experience when they think they're the only ones struggling with marriage or work or children or elderly parents or spiritual questions....
- Group is fun! Yes, we work through difficult times in life, but we also celebrate together and laugh at life. How refreshing!
What happens in group?
- Each week we do a brief check-in first. This allows each member to talk about their week and bring up anything they would the group to help them with this session.
- We work together in various ways on members' issues. We may have everyone give feedback if the member wants feedback.
- We listen with care. One of the greatest benefits to group is knowing there is a group of women who genuinely care about what's going on in your life.
- We learn. Connie has a topic each week including such things as: coping with anxiety, setting boundaries in relationships, coping with depression, self care.
- We usually end group with a termination exercise. This may be symbolic gifts to each other, stating what each person is taking from the session to help them, and others.
- The group begins and ends at the scheduled times to respect individual needs to finish on time. (Okay, so sometimes we run 10 minutes over ;)
Is the women's group right for you?
- Does it help you to process issues aloud?
- Do you struggle with low self esteem?
- Are you having problems with relationships, anxiety, depression, or a life transition?
- Are you willing to support other women emotionally?
- Are you willing to "share" the therapist, allowing time for all to share?
- Can you commit to attending the group every week (barring emergencies)?
- Can you keep the identities and issues of the other members in the strictest of confidence?
- Have you been diagnosed with a psychotic disorder? (When stressed, you lose sense of reality.)
Are you contemplating a move in the near future that would make it hard to attend regularly?
Are you currently having suicidal thoughts? (If this is true of you, please see a doctor immediately, or go to the Emergency Room for care.)
- Have you been in the psychiatric hospital recently?
- Do you feel unable to maintain in confidence the identities and information shared by the other members?
What does group counseling "look" like? What happens there?
- Most groups last about 90 minutes per session. This allows time for everyone in the room to have time to receive support.
- This group will have a maximum of 8 women plus 1 or 2 therapists. When one member leaves the group, we add a new member, so that the size remains 8 or less. Keeping the group small helps create intimacy and safety.
- The group begins each week with a basic "check in", with everyone briefly talking about their weeks and maybe identifying something they'd like to talk about this session. Some weeks women come and provide support for others because they're doing so well.
- The counselor facilitates the discussion, guiding the group to support and gently challenge members toward personal growth.
- Members laugh together, cry together, and learn from one another's lives and experiences.
- We close the group each week by summarizing what was discussed and reminding the members that everything that is said in the group is to remain confidential.
How much does it cost?
- Each group session is $25. This can be paid each session or by the month.
- If a member no shows or cancels the same day as group, she pays $15 for that missed session.
- The screening intake session charge is $50. This is a one time fee that covers the cost of depression/anxiety screening and gathering history. Clients who have been in individual therapy do not need this screening appointment to join group.
- Members are responsible to pay consistently for group, in order to save their place in the group.
- Group may be covered by your insurance company if : They will reimburse you for out of network providers, AND they will pay for the services of a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.
- Call Connie at 407-760-5175 to schedule a screening interview.($50 for one hour appointment)
- All members MUST be approved by Connie Branham, prior to joining the group. If you currently under psychiatric care or in therapy, you will be required to sign a Release of Information form so that your doctor and therapist can coordinate treatment.