1.Comfort in sorrow, misfortune, or trouble; alleviation of distress or discomfort.
2.Something that gives comfort, consolation, or relief: The minister’s visit was the dying man’s only solace.
Solace – Group Therapy
- A psychotherapeutic group for the development of authenticity
- Space to explore your world and make changes
- Relational environment to experiment with your way of being
What will happen?
- Development comes from experimentation and play. We often become fixed in our patterns of behaviour, as well as patterns of feelings and thoughts; this is not the way it has to be. Development and growth happens when we try out alternative ways of being (and doing). Then what stops us? We feel comfortable in what we know; maybe a relationship, or job; it might not be ideal but it’s comfortable; we’ve been here a while, we know the terrain. So why change? Well if it was working for you at a deeper level you wouldn’t be reading this now. You’d be satisfied, know a sense of peace, or integrity within your-self. You do? Great. Do you want to live in this peace? That’s what therapy is all about, finding a way to live in authenticity. That is your own personal way of being, not the way I tell you or they do.
So you’d like things to be a bit different. How’s group therapy going to help?
- Imagine you want to eat your perfect cake;: you could buy one from the shop; but they aren’t fresh, they’re mass produced and a bit sickly. You could pay someone to bake it for you: but how would they know what you like. So you get a recipe, buy the right ingredients and follow the instructions. Still not perfect. You must adapt the recipe to fit your tastes and your oven. Maybe you don’t like raisins, or need to use a different flour. You need to practice. Then your neighbour comes around; she’s a nice person. ‘Oh this is lovely,’ she says, but you don’t trust her because she always says the same thing, even if you served cat food. Uncle pops in. He’s the ‘looks like rain’ kind of person; nothing is ever quite right (do you recognise him too?) So how do you know when you’ve got your cake right? You call a good honest reliable friend, who’s happy to say it like it is, and also to acknowledge when they’re wrong. They tell you they like the cake because it tastes good, and because you made it. Group therapy is a room full of people (5-9) who are learning to say it like it is. Between them they’ll be able to give you a realistic picture of who you be; crumbs and all.
- Sounds scary right? And transformational. For twenty years my mum cooked Brussel sprouts for my dad before finding out he didn’t like them. Do you want to go on eating cake that you don’t like?
- But this is an important bit – there’s a reason why you don’t speak out; why you’re nice or pessimistic (and many other things). Because in some way it’s worked for you, kept you safe. But my guess if you’ve got this far is it’s not working for you anymore; maybe.
- So rather than going home and telling your partner he can stuff his/her Brussel sprouts, in the group you can experiment, try it out, play. And get an honest reaction, broaden your repertoire, have tasting sessions.
Isn’t individual one-to-one therapy better?
- Group therapy has the added advantage that the other participants are active in the process: you can learn from their interaction with you, you with them, and with each other. Seeing someone else’s drama being played out and transformed can be very inspiring. Your modeling and theirs is a real life example of development in action. In one-to-one therapy this can happen, and peer-to-peer has a different, often more acceptable energy.
- Individual therapy has its place, and in some cases both group and one-to-one can work well.