Group therapy is often considered to be more challenging than individual therapy, due to the differing personalities involved. Early group experiences, such as family dynamics and school, can be triggered and worked through with support of the group members and therapists.
Together with Loretta Watt, a very experienced Gestalt therapist colleague, I co-facilitate an ongoing therapy group that meets for three weekends every year. This group has been running since 2009, meeting at a retreat centre in Thirsk, North Yorkshire.
This group is for anyone interested in self-discovery and finding ways to lead a more satisfying and fulfilling life. Participants have the opportunity to reflect on their own lives, gaining a greater awareness into their habits of feeling, thinking and behaving, and from this can get a greater sense of themselves and others in relationships and in everyday situations.
Gestalt group therapy can be both supportive and challenging; it requires commitment, a willingness to share aspects of ourselves and to engage with others. Each weekend this group meets is an opportunity to experiment in how you relate. It’s a laboratory to try things out in a safe and supportive environment, to voice the parts of us that are rarely heard, to confess to things that have contributed to shame and guilt, to try on different roles, to experience something that we might never risk doing in the world outside the group, to finish unfinished business, to confront fears, to open ourselves to love and intimacy.
It’s also an opportunity to help others become aware of you as well as themselves. Everybody is on a journey, each of us has been hypnotised by our personal histories, early childhood, other events, and relationships in ways that stop us from experiencing the world as it is now. Awareness is the process breaking the trance and enabling us to live more fully.
The maximum number of group members is nine, to allow sufficient space for members’ exploration over each weekend. We prefer that people thinking of joining have had previous experience of personal therapy or, even more ideally, are having on-going individual therapy alongside group membership. Please follow this link to read more about psychotherapy and counselling.
We are fortunate to have a superb setting for our therapy group meetings at Holyrood House, which is about 10-minutes walk from Thirsk town centre. The gardens are beautiful and well kept. The accommodation is very clean and low cost, and the staff are always helpful and available.
The cost is £150 per weekend, which includes tea/coffee and biscuits, and lunch, but not including accommodation. A £20 non-refundable deposit is required to secure your place. If you’re interested, please contact me for more information or complete this form and email to me: group therapy – application form. We will then arrange a brief telephone interview to assess suitability. After ensuring there are no boundary issues (having a problematic relationship in another situation) with current group members, potential members will be permitted to attend a weekend on a trial basis before committing to join for the minimum three weekend sessions. Please see group therapy – contract. And you can download the flyer here.
We must learn to live together as brothers and sisters or perish together as fools.Martin Luther King
Does group therapy help clients? Indeed it does. A persuasive body of outcome research has demonstrated unequivocally that group therapy is a highly effective form of psychotherapy.Irvin Yalom
Group dates for 2019
February 16th & 17th
June 1st & 2nd
October 5th & 6th