Aspects and benefits of group therapy.
Group therapy can have many satisfactory and therapeutic outcomes, leading to increased engagement in life. Being a group member can enable the participant to experience renewed hope from the realisation that we are not alone in our difficulties. Members can take satisfaction from an increase of awareness, and from others’ learning; can discover and change maladaptive patterns (derived from our families of origin) through interaction with others, and can come to see new or different ways to live our lives.
Being a group member is a challenge to most people. Conditions and boundaries will be defined at the outset, as respect and safety are very important. In a Gestalt therapy group, the feelings we have on arrival are first addressed. It is important to gather some sense of being in the group and how this impacts on use. As the group progresses and as members get to know each other more deeply, opportunities will arise for individuals to articulate who we are and what we are feeling and needing. Everyone is different, every response is valid. The experience of sharing each other’s thoughts and feelings, within a committed group, can be of inestimable value for personal development and the growth of understanding.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) has helped over one million people who have experienced psychological difficulties following some kind of traumatic experience, such as sexual abuse, childhood neglect, road traffic accidents and violence.
When a person is severely traumatized, either by an overwhelming event or by being repeatedly subjected to distress, the usual healing process may become overloaded, leaving the original disturbing experiences unprocessed. These unprocessed memories can be stored in the brain in a ‘raw’ form where they lead to a feeling of ongoing threat & danger. The person can also experience anxiety, flashbacks and morbid thinking.
EMDR therapy is a scientifically supported treatment for trauma and PTSD. It is recommended by numerous organizations including the World Health Organization & the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). It involves well refined procedures that use bilateral sensory stimulation such as repeated eye movements, to help the individual to work through and process memories of trauma and other adverse life experiences. Before beginning the processing, clients are initially taught skills to help manage strong feelings and flashbacks. EMDR is also successful in treating other complaints such as performance anxiety, self-esteem issues, phobias, and other trauma related anxiety disorders.
There have been over 24 controlled studies supporting the efficacy of EMDR. The most recent studies with people suffering from a range of events such as rape, combat, bereavement, accidents, natural disasters etc. have found that 84 – 90% of the participants no longer had Post-traumatic Stress Disorder following EMDR treatment. A study conducted at Kaiser Permanente have reported that 100% of single-trauma victims and 77% of multiple-trauma victims no longer had PTSD after completing EMDR therapy.
EMDR can be delivered in 50 or 90 minute sessions,