“I am concerned that group members will talk about what I said outside the group.”
Each group member agrees to the confidentiality of the information shared in the group prior to joining the group. What is said in groups must remain among the members of the group in order for all members to feel safe and trusting in the group. It is not appropriate for a group member to disclose events of the group to an outside person or other group members outside of group meetings. While the group leaders cannot guarantee that members will maintain confidentiality outside the group, this is thoroughly discussed and agreed upon with each member prior to joining the group.
"Group counseling is second-best to individual counseling."
Group counseling offers many benefits that are not as available with individual counseling. One reason for this is that groups are composed of various personalities, experiences, and coping strategies. The strengths of each individual group member can serve as a model for other group members who are still learning about those skills and strengths. In everyday life it is often difficult to get useful and reliable information about yourself from others. People seldom take the time to carefully observe others as well as themselves, and the social constraints against giving others honest feedback inhibits the sharing of observations that could be helpful and instructive. By contrast, group members do take the time to observe and share impressions in honest and caring ways.
"I am concerned I will be judged or criticized by the leaders or other group members."
It is very important that members feel safe in the group. Group leaders are there to help develop a safe
environment and will to maintain a constructive and caring atmosphere. We understand that feedback from others may at times be difficult to hear. A benefit of group therapy is receiving feedback from others who are trying to help, while also having a trained group leader present to facilitate the conversation. Group may be one of the only places in which you can receive honest and supportive feedback about how you might be behaving in ways that are hurtful to yourself or others. Group leaders will help members give feedback in a way that is respectful, thoughtful and constructive.