Group Counseling Sometimes, you need a safe space to work through your emotions one-on-one with a counselor. This can be extremely effective— 80% of Americans who have tried therapy found it to be beneficial. But did you know that in many cases, group counseling can be even more powerful than individual therapy? That’s why here at Gateway Counseling Center in Boynton Beach, we’re constantly working to expand our group therapy programs and offerings. The potential positive impacts to your overall health are little-known, yet incredibly transformative. What is Group Counseling, and How Does It Differ from Individual Counseling? Group counseling refers to counseling sessions when multiple clients meet simultaneously with one, or sometimes multiple, counselors. This is different from individual therapy where a client meets one-on-one with their counselor. The sizes of any given group depend on the nature of the program and how the counselor wants to structure it. Anywhere between 5 and 15 clients per group are common. As the group gets larger, it’s more likely that 2 or more counselors will lead each session. During group counseling, you’ll generally communicate with the entire group openly. Sharing your struggles and achievements with like-minded people is one of the best parts about opting for group therapy. Benefits of Group Counseling Some of the many proven benefits of group counseling include: Moving past the limiting belief that you’re alone in your struggles Tapping into positive support systems on a regular basis Getting perspective on your own difficulties through speaking with others Having a sounding board to brainstorm and stay accountable Learning targeted, proven strategies to handle whatever life throws at you And these benefits are only the beginning. Many people describe group counseling sessions as the “catalyst” they never knew they needed. While your therapy will be focused on a specific challenge or issue, you’ll likely experience benefits in other aspects of your daily life, too. Knowing other people who are going through life’s ups and downs can give you a newfound perspective and invigoration. What are Some Common Goals of Group Counseling? Though the goals of any given group counseling program depend on the focus of that program, some common goals are: Bringing people together to increase the amount of support each person gets Helping people feel less alone and isolated in dealing with their burdens Improving everyone’s ability to establish and maintain coping skills Empowering people to make smart decisions by strengthening decision-making skills Creating a safe, shared space to express thoughts and feelings Enabling a group of people to work through specific issues with support from a licensed counselor Our Group Counseling Programs We’re committed to regularly expanding our group therapy options. Below are the programs we currently offer, and details on why group counseling might be a good choice for you. Don’t see the program you’re looking for? Let us know and we’ll do our best to support you with other resources and opportunities. Sleep Difficulties Over 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep difficulties, according to the CDC. And if you’re one of them, everything from driving around town to getting through your workday can feel like a Herculean task. You might tell yourself that all you need to do is go to sleep. These days, it’s easy to find a slew of “fool-proof tricks” that are supposedly guaranteed to have you dozing off within minutes. But the science of sleep is a lot more complicated than that. You see, when you have chronic sleep difficulties, many of your brain’s important processes become noticeably disrupted. Your mind and body basically create new, less efficient ways of doing the things you need to do each day. And breaking out of this cycle on your own is anything but easy. That’s why we offer a targeted group counseling program specifically for sleep difficulties. Feeling Tired, Unmotivated, or Constantly Groggy? The truth is, sleep is incredibly important for both your mental and physical health. Sure, we can all struggle through a workday after one night of poor sleep. But when you have chronic sleep difficulties, the impacts can be felt across your entire life. During the day, you’re groggy, tired, and lacking motivation. But when it’s finally time to go to bed, you’re wide awake with anxiety and fearing another sleepless night. As time goes on, your ability to focus and even do basic things—like showing up to work or events on time—slips further. And that just compounds your sleep anxiety even further. This vicious cycle can be incredibly difficult to break out of on your own. But with our group counseling program for sleep difficulties, you can finally retake control of your life by learning techniques that’ll help you for years to come. How Can Group Counseling Specifically Address Sleep Difficulties? Group counseling specifically addresses sleep difficulties in part through using proven CBT methods and techniques. One recent study found that CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) is more effective for improving sleep than prescribed sleeping aids. This same study also found that the benefits lasted well beyond the end of the counseling program. For example, one big part of CBT is what’s called ‘thought challenging.’ When you recognize a negative thinking pattern, you take the time to restructure them to be more realistic and positive. During group counseling, you get a massive amount of support in doing just that. Let’s say that you often tell yourself something like, ‘I should be able to sleep normally every night, like any normal person does.’ When you say this aloud during group counseling, your group mates will work with you to reframe that perspective. By the end of the session, you’ll be thinking more in terms like, ‘Millions of people struggle with sleep in the US alone. With enough practice, I’ll get back on track.’ This is just one small example of how group counseling can be transformative if you have sleep difficulties. Our Process Currently, our group counseling program for sleeping difficulties has a capacity of 6 people per group. You’ll attend a total of 8 sessions strategically planned by your counselor to maximize the positive impacts on your sleep. Typically, this looks like 2 sessions per week, so you complete the program in 4 weeks. But your counselor will custom tailor the pacing as needed, so the exact timing may vary slightly. In the end, you’ll be empowered to overcome sleeping difficulties, no matter how chronic they’ve become. Getting Started with Group Counseling Now you know all about group counseling, how it works, and the many potential benefits it can offer you. At Gateway Counseling in Boynton Beach, our counselors and coaches are experienced, and passionate about helping you step into the life you desire. Not sure if our group program is the right fit for you? We invite you to call us at 561-468-6464. We’d love to talk with you about your goals and share more information about our process. And because our counselors and coaches specialize in a wide range of modalities, we can make recommendations based on your specific needs—even if we discover that group counseling isn’t the best choice for you right now. Once you take the first step, we’ll be by your side for the entire journey. Ready to get started? Just contact us at Gateway Counseling Center today.