Group Therapy: Process Groups

What is a process group?

Group therapy can provide powerful growth, healing and even transformative experiences. Process groups are a safe, confidential environment for our clients to gain deeper insight into their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.

“Process” differs from “content”, however they are both major aspects of a process group. Content is just what it implies. The precise words spoken, information that is shared about one’s life. Process is a completely different concept. It refers to the “process” of the interactions in the room, in other words, what do the words (and nonverbal expressions) tell us about the relationship between the individuals in the interaction.

Groups serve as a microcosm (miniature version of a person’s life outside of the group). It gives clients a safe “mini laboratory” to learn what is effective and how can the ways in which they relate be more powerful. This increases the ability to create more meaningful and authentic personal relationships in daily life. The interactions in group will mirror those in life outside of the group. If an individual is often shy or distant from others socially in life, it will happen in group as well. If someone tends to have difficulty receiving compliments or support in life, that will also happen in group.

Process group members will notice through their experience that sharing experiences, feelings, honest feedback and observations creates a level of intimacy/connectedness that is deeply meaningful. For most people such levels of intimacy do not occur in their life. The group experience enables members to create that very same level of meaning in their life outside of the group.

Benefits of participating in a process group include:

  • Learn how to gain perspective with your current life challenges. You may feel isolated and think you are the only one struggling with certain challenges. You are not alone.
  • Hear diverse thoughts and opinions. All of us have different personalities and backgrounds, so we approach and perceive situations differently. When we observe others taking on their problems and make positive changes in ways you originally wouldn’t consider, we can gain a wide range of strategies for facing our own problems.
  • Obtain a clearer understanding of yourself and how you relate to others. Process groups allow for open communication of your thoughts and feelings. This openness often results in creating deeper relationships outside of group.

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    Group members have a safe environment in which they can learn skills, practice skills, and receive feedback.