Depression Relationship Therapy
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Individual & Group Therapy

by Karen A. Solomon, LCSW, BCD, CGP, CHt

When people seek therapy, they usually meet with a therapist privately to discuss their concerns. The therapist evaluates the client’s needs and suggests appropriate treatment modalities. Individual sessions, which are one on one meetings in the therapist’s office, usually scheduled on a regular basis provide the client with an opportunity to share his or her feelings, fears, problems, history and any other issues they choose in a safe, confidential, structured environment. The professional may offer understanding, validation, support, guidance and an objective perspective. The relationship between patient and therapist is crucial to the success of the treatment.

As the counseling sessions progress, a different and complementary form of treatment may be recommended as an adjunct to the individual therapy. The therapist may suggest bringing family members into sessions, marriage counseling, meeting with siblings or having the client participate in group therapy. Therapy groups are made up of individuals who are dealing with a variety of emotional struggles. Their individual issues may be different, but their wish to resolve their problems, improve their functioning and enhance their relationships with others is the same.

Group therapy offers members the opportunity to learn and grow with other people. In our daily lives we are constantly interacting with others. The group therapy experience allows people to share their life experience, struggles and concerns in a way that is beneficial to all involved. People find out they are not alone or as different as they may have believed. In addition, understanding your patterns of thoughts and behavior and those of others serves to help implement change and personal growth. Working together on one another’s problems provides each member with a sense of community and support that is often missing in our every day lives. This experience also teaches us how to create this in our personal lives.

When people have experiences with other group members that in any way resemble interactions with others in their lives, they have a unique opportunity to hear and see how they are feeling and behaving right then and there. Group members can share their perceptions and reactions to one another as well as observations about the impact one’s actions have on others. This takes place in a safe setting where the risk of getting into an argument or acting out is minimized by the presence of the therapist who guides and intervenes to maximize the experience and make it meaningful. We call this experiential learning and it is a powerful way to implement emotional growth.

If you are considering therapy of any kind, always ask the therapist about his or her background, credentials and training. In addition you may ask how a specific modality of treatment would be helpful for your particular situation or problem. Professional group therapists have had special training in this format and have met certain professional standards.

Karen A. Solomon
Office : 631 - 543 - 2050

Commack, New York 11725

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