Group Therapy in Donnybrook Centre

What happens in the Group Room?

In Donnybrook Centre, we run several different kinds of groups in our Group Room, including group analytic psychotherapy groups.

What is Group Analytic Psychotherapy?

This kind of group therapy describes the process of people coming together to give and to get understanding, help and support about their life experiences. People are given the opportunity to speak about whatever is on their mind, to listen to each other and to give their responses and feedback to each other. In this way, group members begin to share their life stories and to relate with each other in a caring and mindful way. Opportunities arise in group to work with the ‘here and now’ dynamics of the group and this offers a natural way for people to work on relationship issues while contributing to increased confidence and personal development

Why consider group therapy?

Research has shown that group therapy can be a very effective form of therapy for people who are looking to have more fulfilling relationships and communicate more meaningfully with others in their life, handling conflict and difference more effectively. It is also a useful form of therapy for those who wish to build confidence and self-esteem, overcome anxiety or depression and generally manage life’s challenges in a more beneficial way. We are all born into family groups and from these groups we emerge as individuals. Because group members are asked not to meet socially and to honour the confidentiality of what occurs in the group, the group becomes a microcosm of the group members outside world and how he/she relates there. The group members can help each other to come to understand each other’s way of relating and understanding their experiences and explore different meanings and different ways of relating to their experiences and to people in their lives.

Who is in the group?

Most usually there is a minimum of 4 and a maximum or 8 adult men and women from all different walks of life and experience in the group.

Who runs the group and are they trained to run therapy groups?

Therapy Groups in Donnybrook Centre are run by experienced and fully qualified psychotherapists who have completed their training to Masters Degree level in individual psychotherapy and also in Group Analytic Psychotherapy from UCD and the Irish Institute of Group Analysis or they are presently in the completing stages of that degree course.

How long does the group last?

The group takes places weekly for 1.5hours. The group is an ongoing group and members join and leave at different times and in a planned manner. There are holiday breaks of up to 10 weeks in each year.

How long do I stay in the group?

When you join the group, you are asked to give six months commitment to attend the group on a weekly basis – this is to allow you enough time to get used to being in group and to begin to make use of the group process. When you decide when you want to leave the group – you are encouraged to discuss this in the group with the other group members and to give time to the leaving.

How much does it cost?

Fees are charged on a sliding scale of up to ?50 per session. Group members are asked to pay monthly in advance. The fee is negotiated with the group therapist in the individual sessions that take place before joining the group. Following that initial agreement, any changes in fees are talked about during the group sessions. At least one month’s notice of change in fee arrangements will be given.

What if I feel I don’t fit in?

Feeling like you don’t fit in is often the reason people consider group therapy as a helpful form of therapy for them. You will meet with the group conductor for individual sessions to discuss what you are looking for from a therapeutic experience and if a group is the best place for you. Worries you may have about not fitting into the group, confidentiality etc will all be discussed in these individual sessions in advance of joining the group. If, when you join the group, you feel you do not fit in, you will be encouraged to try to express those feelings so that they can be worked with and you can arrive at the best decision that is right for you at that time.

How often does the group meet?

Weekly for 1.5hrs. Currently in Donnybrook Centre there are therapy groups running on a Wednesday and a Thursday evening from 6pm on.

Is it confidential?

Yes. Everything that is said in the group is confidential (unless there is a threat to the safety of a child, in which case any concerns would be discussed with the group member). It is only in the knowledge that what is talked about is kept within the circle of the group members that you will feel really free to openly express yourself and trust the other members of the group.

What do we talk about?

Group members are asked to speak freely about whatever is on their mind. There is no specific agenda in the group (for example, parenting skills would be on the agenda in a parenting group). Group members are invited to respond to whatever is being spoken about in the group – this is the core work of group therapy.

How do I join a group?

Before joining a therapy group, the group member meets with the group conductor for a number of individual sessions usually for a minimum 6 sessions. The purpose of these sessions is to clarify what you are is looking for, whether group is the right place to meet your needs, to explore your experience in groups to date and also to answer any questions you may have relating to joining a therapy group. Group members always join the group in a planned manner.

How will I know that this is the right therapy for me?

In your individual sessions prior to joining the group, this question is thoroughly explored with you and the therapist. Clarity is arrived at in relation to being in the right therapy through understanding your experience of earlier groups and of earlier therapy, and also by understanding your wish to join a therapy group.

How will I know it is working?

Knowing that therapy is working for you is at first a feeling experience. Later on this is supported by a recognition of change in your behaviour, attitudes and thoughts. You may also notice a change in your ways of relating to others. Each person can only know this for themselves – and it is helpful to talk about whether you feel it is working or not in the group in order to give yourself every opportunity to get as much as you can from the experience.

Can anybody go to group?

No, not everyone can join a group because group therapy is not a suitable option for everyone. That is why there is always a period of exploration and preparation before joining the group.

Is it always the same people in the group?

This kind of therapy group is known as a slow, open group, where people join and leave the group at different times, in a manner that allows time for the group members to become comfortable with the changes and enables the therapy to continue effectively. This is a core part of how the group functions and is important for the establishing of consistency and trust in the group.

If you would like to arrange an initial consultation to further discuss your interest in group therapy, please contact Sheena at the centre to arrange an appointment. This initial meeting last for about 40 minutes and is free of charge.