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Thread: Group Therapy - Opinions welcome

  1. #41
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    OMG, I'm laughing hysterically at all the "Hilda" comments!

    As for who is talking the other 30%, our last session went like this (90 minutes total):

    Hilda- 40 minutes
    Girl with abusive ex - 5 minutes
    Hilda, with her abusive ex story from 20 years ago - 20 minutes
    Me - 2 minutes
    Hilda, about how my story relates to something else from 15 years ago - 13 minutes
    Carol (not her real name) who has another serious issue - 5 minutes
    Hilda, on how Carol's story reminds her of something completely else entirely from 10 years ago - 5 minutes
    Kelly - never said a word, not even "Hi, I'm Kelly".
    Oops....clock ran out, session over.

    Hilda: 78 minutes. Rest of the group: 12 minutes total.

    This is not an exaggeration. The only other talking was therapist, to Hilda.

  2. #42
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    Originally Posted by Billie28
    Have you told the therapist that itís not Cathy you have an issue with but rather the therapist herself?
    Great question, and honestly, Billie, I wished I had said this; if I'm being completely open, I was more hurt by her assertion that I was upset because Hilda triggered me, so I came from a place of defensiveness, rather than asking her to guide the group to more sharing.

    The thing is, I don't need 16% of the time, or a certain amount of minutes, but yes, I do want to hear from others, and I do realize that in group, sometimes one person will spend more than half the group's time on their issue. That's cool, I've been in groups before, and I love to listen, because I learn so much from others. And yeah, sometimes it's my turn to take the lion's share of the time.

    This particular time in my life, I actually don't need much talking time. I just want more time, period, plus I want to hear from others, because I learn from everyone. Each person's issues are unique, and just as important, and I feel that I can relate in different ways, which is why I'm in group.

    Truth is, I enjoyed hearing from Hilda at first, because she's around my age, similar past issues, etc., so I was like, cool, she's talking a lot, and I'm learning. But it's 4 sessions in now, and she's taken 60-70% of the time, each session.

    But you make a great point, inasmuch as that no, if I'm being honest with you, I did not tell the therapist that it's her I have the problem with. Should I? Any suggestions on how to word it?

  3. #43
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    I did group therapy (and individual therapy) for years as a kid. I think itís important for you to feel comfortable in the group in order to get the most out of it. Part of the therapistís job is to keep things running on an even keel so that everyone takes something away from the experience.

    I think itís odd that instead of listening to your complaint in a nonjudgmental way, she chose to deflect the issue back onto you. Iíve never had a therapist try to cut me down like that. Well, maybe there was one time, but I never scheduled another appointment with that lady.

    Point is, I know those kinds of therapists are out there, but itís not necessary to work with someone like that.

    You know, being a therapist doesnít automatically make a person right or perfect. It doesnít mean she automatically knows more about you than you know about yourself.

    You have a say, too. Itís ok for you to disagree with her and stop going. You are trying to help yourself. You need a therapist who you can work with, who supports you. You will have the best results in an environment where you feel respected.

  4. #44
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    Originally Posted by Jibralta
    I think itís odd that instead of listening to your complaint in a nonjudgmental way, she chose to deflect the issue back onto you. Iíve never had a therapist try to cut me down like that. Well, maybe there was one time, but I never scheduled another appointment with that lady.
    You know, that's exactly it. I was so taken aback by this, as I've never had a therapist turn something back on me like this.

    Being listened to, heard, and validated is most definitely an issue I've had since childhood, and I've been in many therapy situations where I've worked on this. Never, not once, did a therapist turn it on me like this. In fact, the irony of it is, I was wanting to be heard and listened to by the therapist, but in fact, she "triggered" me by not hearing me, rather than me being "triggered" by Hilda.

    I was in a group therapy intensive last weekend. Entire day Saturday and half the day Sunday. The therapist, who I had never met (I traveled for this), started off by going around the room, letting each person talk, and then she had an outline for the weekend that she went by, but she continued to go around the group the entire weekend. If I had to guess, each one of us had almost the exact same time to talk, share, and listen. It was awesome. She just kept at a pace that was so comfortable, so meaningful, yet intense, and it spoiled me.

    Because there were multiple people in the group, each person spoke for approx. 20% of the time total, so the other 80% was listening, which was great, because it was just a very equal, copacetic situation, and the stuff the therapist was saying to each person as they shared was so awesome, my hand almost fell off from all the notes I took.

    So when I came back to this session with Hilda, is when it hit me, that this group is not run like that one was.

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  6. #45
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    Originally Posted by LHGirl
    Oh my Holly, that is so much worse. Your situation wasn't just an emotional support group, but literally an illness/life support group, and for someone to monopolize with subjects that can and should be left outside the door, or kept to a minimum, is inexcusable.

    To answer your question, there is no superior to speak with, as this woman practices on her own.

    But as I said earlier, since I've been involved in other groups, I see how they should be run, i.e. the leader guiding the group so that the discussion works for everyone. This is the first time I've been in a therapy situation like this, and yes, it ticked me off to be told that my distaste for this woman's monopolizing is my issue to deal with, rather than the therapist saying that she'll figure out a way to work on it.

    The trigger that I felt was telling me I was being triggered, if that makes sense. Like, my own therapist isn't supporting me.
    Both of these women are emotional vampires.

    The therapist id doing a great disservice to the group. Please find someone else who provides a better structure.

    Good luck and good weekend!

  7. #46
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    I have never been in group therapy but have been in support groups ---
    The group leader would set a timer -- a little sand in the hourglass thing and the person that had just gone would set a timer for the next person and "knock" on the table quietly when the person was maybe 20-30 seconds from being time up - it was their warning to wrap things up. Someone could go over by a sentence or two, but they were not allowed to launch into a whole new story. Everyone was heard and respected. It helped that we were all together for the same issue -- there were a few different tables with overlapping issues and sometimes one person would sit at a different table for a few weesks. All in all it was successful because people were not dwelling - they weren't becoming support group addicts and they eventually moved on.

    I think allowing someone to monopolize a group defeats the purpose of their being a group. If the group takes turns giving someone a longer share on different weeks - maybe giving someone even a little assignment or a task to talk about something specific - that's different

  8. #47
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    Originally Posted by j.man
    "Janie, you need to shut the **** up for a few seconds."
    Go with this one!

  9. #48
    Gold Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    But you make a great point, inasmuch as that no, if I'm being honest with you, I did not tell the therapist that it's her I have the problem with. Should I? Any suggestions on how to word it?

    "Margaret, to be honest, I'm disappointed that you allow Hilda to monopolize the therapy sessions to the exclusion of the rest of us."

  10. #49
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    Originally Posted by SarahLancaster
    But you make a great point, inasmuch as that no, if I'm being honest with you, I did not tell the therapist that it's her I have the problem with. Should I? Any suggestions on how to word it?

    "Margaret, to be honest, I'm disappointed that you allow Hilda to monopolize the therapy sessions to the exclusion of the rest of us."
    Wow....perfect.

    If I decide to go back, I'm going to say that. I might email it to her, as she's emailed me a few times letting me know that my "commitment" to the group was 6 sessions, and I've only made 4. I wonder how she'd respond.

  11. #50
    Platinum Member RainyCoast's Avatar
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    What commitment?? What is she on about?? You're a paying client, you can leave when you're tired of paying for subpar service, this ain't court ordered anger management for chrits's sake. You're not obligated to attend, she sounded like she's saying it's not optional.

    I don't like that she's "reminding" you of inexistent duties. It sounds frustrated and punitive. I almost expected you to say she reminded you of "consequences" of not attending the six sessions because the tone and wording of her sentence sounded like "or else" would naturally follow in the syntax.

    What is her deal??

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