Personal Exploration Group for Adults...
Supervised by Louis Laves-Webb, LCSW, LPC-S
Patrick Turbiville, LMSW
Individual, couple & group psychotherapist...
Day/Time: Saturdays - 3:30-5:00p
(by appointment only –– no drop-ins)
Cost: $42/session ($2 discount when paying by cash/check)
Timeframe: This is an open group which will continue indefinitely as long as there are three active members. Members graduate from the group when they feel they have made substantial progress toward their self-defined goals. New members will be accepted whenever total membership falls below eight.
Description: The Personal Exploration Group for Adults is for people wanting to better understand themselves and others. It may be helpful to those concerned about social, family, and romantic relationships; struggling with issues like depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem; currently in individual therapy; or hoping to continue their growth after completing individual therapy. (I recommend discussing the appropriateness of group therapy with your individual therapist.)
Membership Requirements: The Personal Exploration Group for Adults is open to individuals age 18 and older of all backgrounds (race, ethnicity, nationality, ability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, political beliefs, appearance, etc.). Older members may join at the discretion of the group facilitator and/or current members. Members are not required to have past or current individual therapy, but this may be helpful. A free, 30-minute pre-group consultation is required to assess the mutual fit between potential members and the group.
Printable Flyers: CLICK HERE.
Ready to join? CLICK HERE. If you want to know more, continue reading.
As a member of the Personal Exploration Group for Adults, you could:
What to Expect
Joining a therapy group can be a source of anxiety. One way to reduce this anxiety is to learn what to expect in group. When a new member joins the Personal Exploration Group for Adults, each group member shares their first name and one goal they would like to work on in group. The new group member then shares the same information. Even this small bit of sharing can feel daunting or emotional for some. But, witnessing others take this risk can provide the courage needed to introduce oneself into the group. Aside from this, no sharing is required in group meetings. However, members who put more into group tend to get more out of group; sharing, risk-taking, and vulnerability are usually rewarded with increased benefits.
Group meetings usually begin with a check-in. Group members may share what they are experiencing in the here-and-now (you will grow familiar with this phrase), including thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations. The check-in is also when I might discuss group business, such as member absences, members leaving, members joining, canceled meetings, and similar announcements. During check-in, a member may share about an issue that is of particular concern for them that week. Though this is allowed, group members and the group facilitator will likely encourage these members to share about their experience in-the-room (you will get used to this phrase, too). For example, instead of talking about a difficult interaction you had with someone outside of group earlier in the week, you may be asked to discuss what you are feeling about this interaction “right now,” what you would like other group members to understand about you by sharing this experience, or how you are hoping other group members will respond to your sharing. At first, this may seem like an odd way of interacting, but, as you will see, keeping discussions in-the-room is the source of much of the value offered by the Personal Exploration Group for Adults.
After the check-in, group meetings progress organically. Multiple members may agree that concerns expressed by one member at check-in should have priority; a member may ask another member a question; one member may begin talking about a pressing concern; or the group might sit silently for a while. As the group progresses from session to session, members begin to show their usual ways of interacting in life outside of group (with family, friends, romantic partners, coworkers, etc.). Sometimes these habits are helpful, benefiting other group members, bringing about positive feelings, and deepening connections within the group. Other times, these habits are counterproductive, leading to confusion, disconnection, or even hurt feelings. In both cases, open sharing and feedback about how these interactions are experienced by group members can lead to positive results, including greater self-awareness, increased positive emotions, and progress toward improved mental health and well-being.
When a member has an interaction that is helpful, supportive, builds stronger relationships, and leads to the kind of response they hoped for, they may receive positive feedback and encouragement for continuing this kind of interaction. This can build confidence and self-esteem while providing a real-world example for members who might struggle with this type of interaction.
When a member has an interaction that is not helpful, causes confusion or hurt feelings, weakens connections in the group, or produces unexpected results, they may receive direct, but supportive feedback about how other members experienced this interaction and what might have worked better. The member can then practice alternative ways of interacting and continue to receive feedback until the intention of their behavior matches the response received from other members.
In both situations, group members learn to give and receive feedback. For members who have difficulty accepting positive feedback, receiving immediate feedback from multiple people (who may have been strangers just days or weeks ago) can be a powerful experience that is difficult to discount. Similarly, when members receive supportive feedback about behavior that was confusing, hurtful, or not received in the way it was intended, it may be more easily accepted from the group than from a close friend, family member, or partner.
Addressing Mental Health Concerns
Most group members will have mental health concerns beyond enriching person-to-person interactions, such as depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem. It is often surprising how important the enrichment of interpersonal relationships can be in addressing such concerns. Witnessing the successes of other members can build hope for one’s future. Connecting to members with similar experiences can reduce feelings of isolation and provide a sense of acceptance and belonging. Members who share healthy coping strategies and useful information can benefit other members and gain a sense of personal value and meaningfulness. Experiencing positive, supportive relationships may create a sense of safety that some have rarely experienced before joining the group. Members may develop greater self-compassion and empathy as they deepen authentic emotional connections with others. Members may have opportunities to discuss topics that are rarely discussed in most relationships, but can have profound effects on our emotional lives, such as death, sex, religion, oppression, and others.
At key points in group discussions, I will highlight themes, comment on group interactions, and provide brief education about relationships or related mental health topics. I will also step in if interactions ever become adversarial or otherwise counterproductive. Eventually, the group will develop skills for handling difficult interactions collectively, without the assistance of the group facilitator.
As members progress in the group, it is hoped that they will develop interpersonal habits that promote satisfying relationships and improved mental health. As these habits become a regular part of a member’s life outside of group, that member may begin to consider graduating from group. Some may leave the group because of changing circumstances. Others may discover, only after spending some time in the group, that the group is not right for them. Whatever leads to a group member’s decision to leave, this provides an opportunity for that member and the group as a whole to learn about an important truth for all relationships: they eventually end.
Joining the Group
If you are interested in joining the Personal Exploration Group for Adults, call/text me at 512-806-0137 or fill out the form below. I will contact you as soon as possible to schedule a free, 30-minute pre-group consultation. If the group is currently full, I will offer to place you on a waiting list. Scheduling a pre-group consultation is not a commitment to join the group. The pre-group consultation is a structured, informal, one-on-one meeting where we will discuss:
At the end of the consultation, if we both feel that the group is a good fit for you, you will sign a group agreement and determine your start date.
I sincerely look forward to seeing you in group!
Personal Exploration Group for Adults