Envision offers many different support groups. The goal of these groups is to provide support and encouragement to increase self-worth and self-esteem by relating to others who have been or are in similar situations. When an individual comes into a group they are able to discuss with other members some of the difficulties that brought them to counselling initially. The group setting will provide members with a safe environment for exploring interpersonal issues such as: trust, anger, assertiveness, goal setting, problem solving, abuse and self esteem.
Group therapy is a form of counselling that brings individuals together under the supervision of group facilitators. The group gives support, offers alternatives and explores coping strategies to give members an increased self-awareness and new social skills or ways of relating to others. Envision groups can take on a variety of different forms: some focus on a specific topic or problem, while others address a number of different concerns.
In groups, members are encouraged to speak about their concerns and feelings related to the topic of the group, as well as respond to other members as they share. Group members benefit from learning from each other and are offered an opportunity to work through problems with others who share similar concerns. This is the unique dynamic that makes support groups special.
Envision Group Topics
- Healthy Relationships Group
- Healthy Expression of Feelings Group
- Empowerment Group
- Self-Esteem Group
- Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse Group
- Children Exposed to Violence Group
- This group is part of Envision’s children’s programming. Please see more information about this under Envision’s program overview in Children Exposed to Violence.
- Developing skills and confidence
- Enhancing self-worth and self-esteem through support of others
- Providing a safe environment where group members can develop sufficient trust
- In turn, this allows feedback and ongoing support during self-exploration
- Assist individuals by exploring and recognizing group members personal strengths
- Assist members in gaining insight and understanding of the effects abuse and violence has had or continues to have on their lives
- Providing education and knowledge
- Helping members to constructively express their feelings and ideas to others
- Encouraging members to contribute to their own healing
- Helping members set personal goals and learn to problem solve
- Helping individual members understand how they are perceived by others
- Giving members a sense of acceptance and belonging
- Expanding networks of support
- Reinforcing that a person is not alone
Envision’s groups are open to all individuals over the age of 18 years. Groups usually run weekly for two hours, for eight to ten consecutive weeks. Enrollment is usually limited. Members must have some form of individual or group therapy prior to admission to this group.
Anyone interested in participating in one of Envision’s groups can call the office and book an appointment to speak to a counsellor. Group members must have had individual counselling at Envision or another agency prior to joining one of Envision’s groups. At that appointment the counsellor will discuss Envision’s groups and fill out a group questionnaire.
All groups are confidential and private. What members disclose in sessions is not shared outside of the group. All members must agree to adhere to this prior to coming to group. The meaning and importance of confidentiality are reviewed with group members at all meetings, as it is critical to the development of a safe, respectful, and trusting atmosphere where members are able to openly share their feelings.
How can individuals make the most out of group therapy?
- Make a commitment to attend regularly.
- Make the group part of your life. Don’t think of a group as something that happens once a week and forget about it in between.
- Practice new strategies learned in group, outside of group.
- Take responsibility for your healing. It is the members group, so if it is not moving in the direction group members need it to, suggestions and ideas are welcome to meet the group’s needs.
- Take risks by expressing feeling and getting needs met.
- Be honest and open in a group. It allows other group members to get to know each other.
- Listen well, as there is a lot of wisdom in groups.
- Ask for feedback.
- Share and focus what is positive.
- Do not give advice.
- Don’t blame or judge others.
- Don’t try to solve other member’s problems for them.
Sharing in Group
Many people feel that they will be forced to tell their deepest thoughts, feeling and secrets to a group, however this is not the case. No one will be forced to do anything they are not comfortable with. How much a group member speaks in group is up to them. A member can gain insight and understand just by listening to others. The group facilitators will do everything they can to make the group safe for all group members to talk.
Initially everyone is anxious about going to a group. Almost without exception, within two to three sessions, group members feel safe enough to share personal experiences. Most of the other members of the group have never been to a group either, so it is normal that all group members initially feel nervous.