TYPES OF GROUPS
We Austinites are fortunate to have a thriving group community! Yet with such diverse offerings, it can be a little daunting to try and figure out which group will be the best fit for you. Hopefully this glossary will provide you with a brief introduction to some of the various types of groups that are offered here in Austin.
Time limited (Short Term) vs. Ongoing (Long Term) Groups:
Time limited groups meet for a specified number of sessions. In an ongoing group, new members join a preexisting group and stay in the group until they decide that they have achieved their therapeutic goals.
Psychoeducational vs. Process-Oriented/Experiential Groups:
In a psychoeducational group, the leader serves as a teacher and provides group members with information, resources and techniques. They typically focus on a specific topic (i.e. anxiety, pain management, etc.) and generally are time limited. In a process-oriented group on the other hand, the leader serves as a facilitator and the process is less didactic and more experiential. These groups are typically ongoing.
Interpersonal/ Relational Therapy Groups:
These groups focus on helping the members improve communication, increase emotional intelligence and gain insight about their habitual relational patterns. Members learn about themselves through exploring their feelings towards themselves and other members, giving and receiving feedback. These groups may focus on past experience and outside relationships, but give particular importance to in the here-and-now interactions between the group members. Typically these groups are ongoing.
These groups share many similarities with interpersonal/process-oriented groups. In addition, they place particular importance on experiencing and understanding how childhood experiences with our family of origin continue to impact our current relationships.
Modern Analytic Therapy Groups:
Modern Analytic groups draw on a psychodynamic theory but place particular emphasis on helping members to identify and verbalize their authentic emotional reactions in the here-and-now. These groups help members to gain a greater capacity for intimacy, and spontaneity in relationships.
Systems Centered Training (SCT) Groups:
These groups are experiential and emotion focused and work exclusively in the here-and-now experience of the group. Members are able to achieve improved emotional awareness and greater role-flexibility.
Movement/Art Therapy Groups:
These groups rely on non-verbal modes of expression to expand emotional awareness and promote creativity and increase self-esteem.
With less focus on analysis and a greater focus on somatic experience, members learn to become attuned and “mindful” of physical sensations, cognitions and impulses. This emphasis on a “bottom up” approach to psychological exploration helps members to improve affect regulation, increase self-acceptance and live more fully in the present moment.
These groups draw from the fields of attachment theory and interpersonal neurobiology. These groups work from the premise that intimate attuned relationships such as those found within the group actually rewire our brain, thereby helping the member to move past habitual relationship patterns and early traumatic experiences.
These groups provide members with an opportunity to share empathy and advice in a supportive environment. These groups typically are made up of members who share a common struggle (depression, eating disorders, addictions, etc.).