Medical Q&As

Group counselling - not helpful?

I have been attending group counselling for the last couple of months. I'm not sure if it is of any help. The sessions seem to lose direction a lot or focus on one person in the group (of 6). What qualities should a group counsellor show? How do I know if I have found the right counsellor, and how long typically should I be expected to attend? The counsellor in question wants at least 6 months commitment.

It is difficult for me to answer your question because I donít know why you are in the group. Groups may explore many different issues. Some address personal relationships, some may deal with eating disorders, others may be concerned with stress management whereas others may be focussed on self-esteem and personal development. The group experience should ideally provide a safe environment in which the individual group member can explore and share issues with the other people in the group. One of the principal potential benefits of participation in a group is the further development of each individualís sense of personal awareness. I have no idea if you are a net contributor to the group or are you holding back because you donít feel comfortable or safe. I wonder if you should go back to the group and put your questions to the group. If you question the need for the activity to go on for six months then that concern should be put to the group. If you feel that you are not benefiting from the experience you should say to the group that you are not finding it helpful. If you donít feel comfortable saying these things to the group then I would question if you should be there at all.