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.

Psychoeducational 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.).

Process-Oriented/Experiential Groups

The focus of this type of group is on the members understanding themselves and their relational patterns through their interactions with other group members. There is often a focus on sharing emotional experiences and a focus on the here and now.

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.

Psychodynamic/Object Relations

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.

Body-Oriented/Mindfulness Groups

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.

Attachment-Based Groups

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.

Support Groups

These groups provide members with an opportunity to share empathy and advice in a supportive environment. They are typically made up of members who share a common struggle such as depression, eating disorders, or addictions. Support groups tend to focus on giving support to the members rather than being process-oriented.

Themed Groups

These groups are made up of members who share a common struggle or certain common characteristics. They may be either process-oriented therapy groups or support groups.

Supervision/Consultation Groups

In a supportive and collaborative environment, the organizing focus of this type of group is the presentation of case material by therapists. The group helps the presenter understand how to move the treatment forward. Supervision often refers to a working relationship that is part of gaining licensure or certification, consultation often refers to discussion of case material in general, and sometimes these terms are used interchangeably.

Study Groups

This is a group where readings are chosen, read by the members in advance, and then discussed in a group format as a way to deepen understanding. Relevant case material is often discussed as real world examples of the information in the readings.