Is it for you? When deciding if therapeutic group support is something that would be helpful to you a number of questions may start to arise such as; what is group work, what will the group facilitators be like, what can I expect and other more practical questions such as where and when will the group meet. What is group therapy? Therapeutic support offered in a group has some similarities to individual therapy. However, in group support the dynamic within the group is a key factor in the therapeutic experience. A therapeutic group offers a confidential space to help people explore a variety of different thoughts, feelings and experiences. Counsellors Emma Cowan (left) and Sue Torrance (right) will be there to welcome and facilitate the group The value of being in a group is being in relationship, and working alongside others who may be experiencing similar issues and feelings. Group support is therefore a collaboration between group members and group facilitators. Having a chance to share in a group can offer a sense of belonging, help people to feel less isolated and can be a source of strength. It can help people understand their situation, feelings and experiences in a different way and perhaps with a new perspective. Having a chance to share in a group can give you a sense of belonging, helping you to feel less isolated and can be a source of strength. It can help you understand your situation, feelings and experiences in a different way and perhaps with a new perspective. It also allows you to gain support and comradeship with other group members. What will happen in the group What actually happens in the group depends largely on who attends and what themes emerge. Typically the group will have some unstructured time; at other times we might suggest some exercises to encourage personal insight, understanding and communication. You can expect us to build a good working relationship with you where we are helping you to deal with the feelings and issues that arise and this will develop in an environment that is accepting and non-judgemental. We will encourage you to trust your own knowledge, which can help you to feel more in charge of your situation. Getting started In the initial session you can expect us to create a welcoming space helping you to feel at ease. We will offer you an opportunity to introduce yourself, explore hopes and fears you might have, share expectations and establish some guidelines. For example one important guideline to explore is confidentiality. As counsellors we are bound by professional codes of conduct and aim to protect your personal information at all times. This means we will not discuss you with other members of the group or Kindred staff. However there are some circumstances where information about you may need to be shared with an appropriate person. These circumstances are as follows; when bound by law to act, a child protection issue, or if you or others were at serious risk of harm. Even in such circumstances, we would aim, where possible, to discuss and agree with you any action which may be necessary. Group Facilitators We are both registered with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) counsellors and abide to their code of ethics; we have professional insurance, engage in regular supervision and CPD activities. We believe that events and people who are part of our lives impact on how we feel, think and act. Talking and sharing with people outside of your daily life can enable you to be open about what might be troubling you, and to gain support from the group. We are committed to the benefit that working with people in a group context can bring and believe this can be a powerful and rewarding experience. We look forward to working with you and supporting you in your time in the group. Emma Cowan My background is within social care with children and families, then later as a lecturer teaching social care and counselling and alongside this I am a qualified person centred counsellor. Having qualified in 2009 I have spent a number of years working for local charities offering counselling and also managing a children’s counselling service. I currently have a small private counselling practice. Sue Torrance My working background is in paediatric nursing at Royal Hospital for Sick Children. I have also worked in the voluntary sector, managing a Community Health Project and as a supervisor at Parentline Scotland before moving into lecturing in Further Education. I have been counselling and facilitating groups for 20 years and am keenly interested in the way that group work can offer people a sense of friendship, support and a growing sense of themselves. Group size and commitment You can expect to find no more than 15 participants in a group and with the above trained facilitators. As a group member you will be agreeing to participate in a group session lasting for two hours and committing yourself to attending weekly for a full school term. At regular times throughout the running of the group you will have the chance to review and reflect on how you are finding the group experience. If at any point you feel like you would like to end before the school term we would encourage you to discuss this within the group or with us. Our experience tells us that making the decision to end is often as important as the decision to start. Once the group has been established it will be a ‘closed group’. This means that no new participants can join the group for the duration of the term. This allows for stability, trust and consistencies in the group experience. Location The group will meet at Kindred main office Rutland Lane court. Further details of the next group will be published on Kindred’s social media and website in the coming weeks. To register interest You can call Kindred on 0800 031 5793 (Option 1 then 1) and register your interest in future groups. Alternatively email us here.