Dr. Camenietzki

Group Psychotherapy

My clients in group psychotherapy benefit from most processes offered in individual psychotherapy. Group psychotherapy is very often very effective with the disorders and conflict dealt with in individual therapy. There are, however, certain issues, problems and conflicts that are better treated in the group setting, such as:
 
bulletbeing unassertive and fearful of standing up for one’s rights
bulletbeing viewed by family, friends and colleagues as abrasive, overly confrontational, too angry, or too aggressive
bullethaving problems accessing one’s own legitimate anger and acting on it, such as appropriately and rationally standing up to unfair criticisms 
bulletexperiencing problems dealing with authority figures, either being too submissive and too fearful or, on the other extreme, getting overly defensive or being uncooperative and rebellious
bullethaving frequent bursts of anger in the face of what others see as minor provocations
bulletbeing too shy, too reserved, or too retiring about communicating and sharing feelings 
bulletbeing told by people you love that you are too blunt, lacking empathy, even hostile
bulletbeing lonely, friendless or not knowing how to go about improving your interpersonal relations
bulletnot knowing how you come across to others and what others think of you, your personality, and your conduct 
bulletbeing overly sensitive or overly worried about what others think of you and how they feel about you
 
Participants in my psychotherapy groups are asked to keep it private and confidential whatever transpires in group discussions. They are recommended to reveal their first names only. I maintain in my groups an atmosphere of trust and safety so that all members feel they can not only share their psychic pain, but also give and receive honest and helpful feedback. The group acts as a micro-cosmos that reflects clients' behavior and personality in the real world, so that with the aid of feedback both by peers and by myself, group members learn how to alter their conduct. As the group leader, I do make sure that all ongoing interactions and the feedback members receive from one another are beneficial and therapeutic, and never assaultive or abusive. I get much involved in the life of the group, such as improving communications, offering my own feedback and interpretations.
 
Reviews of studies done over the last decades have repeatedly indicated that clients undergoing group psychotherapy will derive benefits and results equivalent to clients in individual psychotherapy. That finding does not mean that everyone can, or should, attend group psychotherapy, or that every client will contribute significantly to the goings-on of an existing group. This issue is to be assessed by a psychologist conversant and experienced with both individual and group psychotherapies.