Group Counseling

"People need people--for initial and continued survival, for socialization, for pursuit of satisfaction. No one--not the dying, not the outcast, not the mighty--transcends the need for human contact."
– Irvin Yalom

What is group counseling?

Group counseling can be an amazing therapeutic and growth opportunity for individuals and couples.  The types of groups can vary based on age and needs.  Groups can be designed to educate, to support, to validate, to strengthen and all of the above.  The structure and format of groups will vary based on the needs of the group. If you have questions about any of the groups descrived or have a group idea that you would like to discuss, please contact Courtney to discuss.

Group Counseling Opportunities available are listed below: 

Preparing for life after High School for girls and boys, ages 17-19, led by Courtney Loving, LPC

This group will focus on the social and emotional components of moving beyond our family homes and explore the ups and downs of this transitional time. We will address and develop goals, communication (personal and professional) and realities of life after High School.  Most importantly, the group will set personal and group goals for the workshop, so that they begin to practice expressing their needs and desires and experience another adult respond to their requests.

Dates will be determined based on interest and therapist’s availability.

Beautifully Imperfect Group for girls, ages 15-17, led by Cate Cox, LAMFT and Courtney Loving, LPC

This group will be tailored to the specific age group’s developmental, social and emotional needs.  It is our desire to create a safe space for girls to share and learn about themselves and others, exploring what it is like to be imperfect and different, when all they want is to be “perfect” and similar.  Cate and Courtney will combine their skills as therapists and performance artists to explore, inspire and develop tools that young girls and teens can use to navigate insecurity, anxiety and daily stressors.  Teaching tolerance, acceptance and understanding of self and other is critical to the successful of current and future relationships.

Dates will be determined based on interest and therapist’s availability.

Surviving: Living with and Loving Kids with Learning Challenges for Parents, led by Courtney Loving, LPC and Jamie Delgado

Did you ever think parenting could be this difficult?  So many will talk about how rewarding parenting can be….  So why do we often feel so tired, burned out and alone in our partnerships and lives?  Parenting stretches and tests the most patient and loving marriages.  We love our kids.  We love our partners. 

“So why don’t I like myself when I’m around these most meaningful people?” “Shouldn’t I have more compassion for my child who is struggling with learning difficulties or special needs?” 

These parenting situations can cause us to feel so out of control that it feels impossible to respond responsively and respectfully to our children and our partners.  
This is a support group that will focus on the empowerment of parents through psycho-education, friendship and shared experience.  Parents of special needs children spend so much focus, energy and resource on loving and helping their kids that they often neglect themselves and their most significant adult relationships.  This will be a time to share these experiences and learn new tools to navigate the difficult days together.

Dates will be determined based on interest and therapist’s availability.

Please contact us today to join a group or to suggest a new group topic!  We develop new groups when needs arise. Your group idea could benefit many others, too!  

What are the benefits of group counseling?

In a group, you can:

  • Learn more about how you are perceived by others.
  • Experience a sense of acceptance and belonging.
  • Discover that you are not alone in the difficulties you are experiencing.
  • Hear ideas from others, which enhance your ability to make decisions and solve problems.
  • Benefit from the experience of being helpful to others.
  • Learn to constructively express your feelings and ideas to others.
  • Gain encouragement by observing the successes of others.

What makes group counseling work?

When people come into a group and interact freely with other group members, they tend to recreate those difficulties that brought them to counseling in the first place. Under the skilled direction of the group facilitators, the group is able to give support, offer alternatives, or gently confront the individual. In this way, the difficulty is resolved, alternative behaviors are learned, and the individual develops new social skills or ways of relating to people. Group counseling has been found to be a very effective means of treatment and, in some cases, the best form of treatment for a particular individual or a particular type of concern.

Why would you want to share your struggles or issues with a group of individuals you don't know?

In group counseling, real-life patterns of behaving and interacting are naturally reproduced, and therapists can help individuals see these patterns, evaluate whether the patterns are helpful or hurtful in relationships, and, if necessary, change long-held relational patterns that are interfering with the development of healthy, satisfying relationships with families, friends and colleagues. 

What kinds of experiences should I expect from group therapy?

Group counseling provides a safe place for you to learn how your actions affect others and how others' actions affect you and your thoughts. Interacting within a group can provide a normalizing experience. Instead of feeling and believing you are the only one who struggles, you are relieved to discover that others are struggling with the same concerns. People are naturally social creatures, and we cannot begin to totally heal without connections and personal relationships. Groups are an effective way to explore personal issues through interaction with a professional counselor and a group of five to ten selectively–chosen individuals. Members are carefully screened to assure that group members are a good fit for each other. A natural process of enhanced acceptance of self and others occurs as one learns to relate on deeper, more meaningful levels with others in the group. 

Groups are limited in size, and, after formation, are considered "closed groups"; that is, no new members are allowed to join the group after the group begins. Before each new group is formed, group therapists ask a few questions of individuals or couples in order to assure a good match between all the participants in these dynamic groups

What about confidentiality?

The responsibility for confidentiality is shared among the group leader(s) and all group members. Every member of each therapy group is required to agree to adhere to these rules of confidentiality. Group members make a personal pledge that nothing occurring in the group, including names of other group members will be shared with anyone outside of the group.  Additionally, group participants are pre-screened to ensure that they each have the ability and intention to adhere to this confidential agreement. These rules are critical to the development of a safe, respectful, and trusting atmosphere, which allows individuals to openly share their feelings.