At SKATTLE, a large portion of our work is done with groups. Be it in schools, community organisations, or at SKATTLE house, we love to bring individuals together to share stories. While people can see serious benefits when working one-on-one, we’ve found that our group work brings some unique therapeutic benefits to the table, particularly when talking about grief and loss.
Sometimes, keeping our stories to ourselves can limit the way in which we understand them. If our thoughts and experiences remain in our heads, we fail to give them the ‘realness’ that they receive when we share them with others.
While this ‘realness’ can sometimes be daunting, it can break down the barrier of isolation that our experiences may present. For many of us, we may feel that no one truly understands what we are experiencing. Sharing our stories with others challenges this sense of isolation, by bringing communities together to stand strong against adversity.
Talking to a group of people about our experiences can also provide us with the support that we may not otherwise receive. Working with others who have faced similar experiences can help us to reflect on how we respond when we’re faced with hard times.
When we talk to others, we give ourselves the opportunity to not solely dwell on the issues themselves. For many of us, our subjectivity can lead us to focus on the negatives within our lives, overwhelming us to falsely believe that change is impossible. Reflecting with a group can help us to see our experience from an objective standpoint.
When we explore our problems objectively, we can limit how consumed we are by the negativity. Because of this, we can better identify the skills and knowledge we use when hard times are present. Being aware of our strengths is incredibly important in building resilience and allowing us to stand strong when problems arise.
The SKATTLE team believe that working together as a community helps us to make this shift, to better recognise our personal victories rather than emphasise our problem story. When we recognise all of the brilliant ways that we keep standing strong, we can empower both ourselves and those around us. This is why we believe the benefits of group therapy far outweigh any potential cons. As a Swedish Proverb wisely states, “Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half sorrow.”
*Image by Cicero Group on Flickr.com