Break the Isolation - Benefits of Group Therapy
Updated: Jun 18
"The best thing about being with a group is that you don't have to do everything alone."
Having studied, worked and lived with mental health experiences, there is one thing I know for sure, healing does not occur in isolation; we need to connect with others to heal and grow.
My own experience of burnout demonstrated this. I created an online burnout blog-journal (soon-to-be-published book called Nothing Left to Give) back when I went through it to connect with others who got it. I started a podcast called When Burnout Becomes Reality a few months later for the same reason; I wanted to hear the burnout to recovery stories from others. These choices helped me to feel less alone, validated my experience, built my awareness of what I was going through and gave me hope that there was an endpoint that I would get through this.
I have also seen the power of connection as an early career psychologist working one-on-one with people suffering from psychosocial challenges. I noticed the connection between myself and the client helped them heal, as well as the connections they had outside. Still, one of the most powerful was the connection with another person with lived experience that provided a powerful lift to their health journey.
This was most notable when delivering group therapy to people going through similar psychosocial stressors. I remember one of the group attendees vividly sharing with me that what they got from attending was knowing they weren't alone or abnormal in any way and insights and encouragement for how to move forward. They felt more connected with themselves, others and their world. This was all a great contrast to the uncertainty and anxiety they felt before attending, almost stopping them from not showing up. In all the groups I have run, I have noticed that these are the most common benefits attendees share. I have even seen ongoing connections formed from these groups through friendships and ongoing support catch-ups. It warms my heart to see connections develop and grow, as these are the safety nets for when life gets hard.
Community is at the forefront of how I live and work now. I used to prescribe to the do it alone, but I have learnt from personal and professional experience this only gets you so far and, in the end, can contribute to suffering. I believe this so much that it is one of the core values of Burnout Psychology Support: Wisdom, Community, Authenticity, and Compassion. Through my own experience of burnout, I learned the value of community, how we can receive love and care from it, how to recognise and let go of community members who do harm, how to change my behaviour to establish more healthy connections, and to connect to gain and share valuable wisdom to help along this life journey. I want to be part of helping create safer communities of support for people.
I want to acknowledge that forming connections with others is not easy for some, and some do not have or come from safe communities or experienced safety within communities. This can be for many reasons but essentially involves having been hurt or traumatised by others or whole communities, leaving connecting a very anxiety and fear-driven experience. If it is, you may need to ask what person or group you feel safe enough to open up to first and build from there as you experience safety in connection or particular communities. Group therapy can be a great testing ground in building safety around connecting with others if or when ready.
With breaking isolation and building a safe community in mind, I have developed a new service at Burnout Psychology Support - Wellness Support Space. Wellness Support Space is a Telehealth group psychology service that provides a safe, supportive and secure space for individuals to focus on supporting their well-being to respond to or prevent mental health declines such as burnout, compassion fatigue and other conditions; one can be vulnerable to within their industry/work role. A community I hope allows you to be understood, heard, and validated and receive valuable insights and skills to move forward. I have set up three Wellness Support Spaces (facilitated by me), one for provisional psychologists, another for mental health professionals, and one for all individuals, regardless of their work/life roles. The groups start in July, bookings are open now, and spaces are limited (see below for details).
Go to www.burnoutpsychologysupport.com/wellnesssupportspace to learn more (dates, costs, etc).
If you want to go ahead and book your space (limited spaces available), call 0422 695 576, email email@example.com or book online at https://www.halaxy.com/profile/mrs-shannon-swales/psychologist/1039571.
I look forward to seeing you at one of our Wellness Support Spaces to assist with your burnout health needs.
Take care of yourselves
When Burnout Becomes Reality Podcast Host
Mental Health Lived Experience
Phone: +61 422 695 576
Subscribe and receive a free burnout resource: www.burnoutpsychologysupport.com/subscription