Therapy Reduced My Head to a Hazy Hypnotised Mess; SELF THERAPY

Daily Mail (London), October 14, 1996 | Go to article overview

Therapy Reduced My Head to a Hazy Hypnotised Mess; SELF THERAPY


SUCH an approach varies enormously-from seeking to understand the dynamics of how a group works, with the therapist trying to bring to light the unconscious group processes, to individual therapy conducted in a group setting.

Probably the most common use of group therapy is involving the members in the therapeutic process, so they offer insights and make suggestions. When it works well, this form of therapy can be very helpful, showing participants they are not alone with their problems and fostering communication and trusting skills.

It can collapse if the group is not well conducted by a highly experienced therapist. Some people have claimed they felt threatened or bullied in group experiences.

FOR

JANET REGER, 60, doyenne of lacy underwear, embarked on a group therapy course 14years ago to combat

depression. Around 80 people attend each six part

programme. Widowed, she lives in West London and still goes for occasional therapy sessions. She says:

DURING the early Eighties, I was going through a very difficult period. My company had just gone into difficult and I was having a hard time with my husband, Peter. Then a friend of my daughter asked me to join him on a new therapy course. At the time, I thought the whole therapy thing was absolute nonsense.

At the first session, I was bored out of my mind. Then, once all the preliminaries were over, we had to play a game. It seemed silly but the way we played it revealed a lot about ourselves. On the second day we were asked to share our experiences. People volunteered to stand up and speak while the rest listened. The approach was friendly but direct and it made me realise how rarely people listen properly or talk frankly.

Subsequent sessions involved group discussions and one-to-one exercises. We examined subjects such as communications, personality, guilt and resentment.

By the last session, I had put my cynicism aside. I had woken up feeling good for the first time in months. When I arrived at the group that morning to find the others feeling the same way I had to give the therapy its due credit. After the course I felt marvellous. Group therapy helped me put my problems into perspective: I realised people have the same problems but in different contexts. Not only have I made close friends, but group therapy has given me the confidence to build up a business again. I now feel I can do anything if I set my mind to it.

AGAINST

STELLA JONES, 55, was invited to a meeting at the Fellowship Of The Inner Light a charity that uses group therapy to encourage positive thinking. …

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