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Women and Group

   “Group therapy is perhaps the most powerful and cost-effective form of therapy for personal and interpersonal growth and healing.”  Agnés J. Forrás


        WOMEN AND Co-Ed GROUP:   While many women feel safer in an all women’s group, we believe men and women need to learn how their different styles of intimacy and communication play out in male/female relationships. We work hard to create a safe environment where the honest expression of one’s difficult feelings and thoughts in a sensitive and gracious manner allows for powerful learning around issues of trust, openness, honesty, and intimacy. True intimacy is based on one’s willingness to express one’s truth, one’s difficult or vulnerable feelings and wishes.


        Group, over time, will bring up a variety of relationship issues and will importantly inform its members about their attachment style and how it effects their relationship beliefs, feelings and behaviors. Since attachment style, among other factors, predicts success or failure in relationships, this has profound implications for each member’s ability to establish and maintain satisfying relationships. In our experience, group process helps clarify that your love life need not be left to chance!


    Women, in our experience, need to be able to be good friends with men, to forge relationships based on mutual liking, respect, and admiration. There is nothing more admirable than challenging one’s past along with challenging one’s confining, restrictive gender role definitions and beliefs about relationships (see below). Men, who are in therapy, are doing just that! Group therapy is the ideal setting for cultivating an atmosphere of respect and admiration, as group members struggle with profound life concerns and receive one another’s feedback about both the content and process of their communication.


         Defining “Differentiation” - a key concept in personal growth:

    

        “Differentiation of self refers to one's ability to separate one's own intellectual and emotional functioning from that of the family or society.  Those with "low differentiation" depend on others' approval and acceptance. They either conform themselves to others in order to please them, or attempt to force others to conform to themselves. They are thus more vulnerable to stress and they struggle more to adjust to life’s challenges.


         Although, to have a well-differentiated "self" is an ideal that no one realizes perfectly, those who are in process of differentiating, while recognizing their need of others, depend less and less on other's acceptance and approval. They do not merely adopt the attitudes of those around them, but acquire their principles thoughtfully, which help them decide important interpersonal and social issues, and assist them to resist acting on the feelings of the moment.


         Thus, despite conflict, criticism, and rejection they can stay calm and clear headed enough to distinguish thinking rooted in a careful assessment of the facts from thinking clouded by emotion. What they decide and say matches what they do. When they act in the best interests of the group, they choose thoughtfully, not because they are caving in to relationship pressures. Confident in their own thinking, they can either support another's view without becoming wishy-washy or reject another's view without becoming hostile”. Murray Bowen, M.D. 


  If the goals embedded in these ideas appeal to you please call us at 206-367-0756

for a free initial interview or email us at: grouptherapyseattle@comcast.net


We appreciate your interest in personal growth 

and look forward to speaking with you!