What happens in a group counseling session?
Updated: Jan 17, 2019
What do we do in a group counseling session, and why would it be interesting for you? And more specifically: how do we work with the fairytale methodology within a group setting? Given that during the course of 2019, we have several groups coming up including an Expat group, Singles group, a Stress & Burnout group, I would like to give you a few ideas to help you imagine what goes on in these groups. And to encourage you to give it a go!
There is something very powerful in people coming together – people who come from different backgrounds, yet have some things in common. Common things like: we all share the daily ups and downs of living in Berlin. We all have one topic – be it work stress or the seemingly impossible task of finding a suitable partner in this city – that we are interested in, that can share our perspective on. We all would like to find some answers, and perhaps to change something about our lives, and we are open to trying new methods – such as art therapy, fairytale counseling, etc. – in order to achieve that change. And perhaps we also are all looking for some company, and the possibility to make some new friends.
By joining a thematic group session, you join a group of people who are potentially a new crowd – not your colleagues and not your neighbors – and still, have something in common with you. And by attending the sessions one after the other, you develop deeper connections, perhaps even friendships that are built on the solid foundations of having experienced something together, having really shared about yourself, having really been heard by the others. These are relationships that over time become stronger than one's weekend party crowd.
In this way, our group counseling sessions feel a bit like a support group, but they go beyond listening to each other, as the focus is much more on experiencing together. Sure, we will start with checking-in round, with everyone telling the group what they have been up to. Everyone is welcome to just say as much as they feel like sharing at the moment (there is absolutely no pressure ever to share more than what you're comfortable sharing in the moment). As a next step, we will dive a bit deeper into a topic, which will be introduced by the facilitator. Often – if we're working with fairytale methodology – this is when the group listens to the fairytale being read (which is always a special moment). After that, the group will work with the fairytale: talk about it, do relaxation exercises, make art, again reflect on it, create action steps for the future, etc.
→ Read more about my group counseling approach here with information on the themes explored, as well as details about the fairytale community meetings.
In a way, being a part of a counseling group is like being in individual counseling – but being supported by the group at the same time. You will still explore your own emotions, you will still work on your own soul, you will still have a chance to understand how all of this relates to your current life situation and challenge. And while doing so, the group will be there to witness your process, to support, to provide feedback when you need one, and you will also be present to others.
Experiences that are shared provide us with even more satisfaction, and you will notice that this is very true for fairytale counseling groups. The more fairytales experienced together, the more worries and laughs and tears shared, the more you will feel that you truly belong to this group. And as time goes by, it will also be valuable to witness others' journey and let others witness yours. And you will feel a positive boost in your life, an openness and courage to change, and things will start falling into place.
Groups typically meet once a month (one weekday evening after work, with each session about 3 hours long), for a duration of 6-8 occasions, depending on the topic. The number of participants is usually limited to ensure the intimacy, the warm, the honesty of the group. Spending an evening per month with the same people for half a year or so will help the forging of real connections – something that we, Berliners, are truly in need of. And these connections may even last long after the fairytale groups finish.
I encourage you to give it a try! Watch the space here for announcements on upcoming events and group sessions, or just simply drop me a note and ask me about what's coming up here.