These are some of the many benefits of doing therapy and growth work in groups.
When therapists see clients in individual sessions they only see a small portion of that person. They see mostly what the client presents and wants them to see, the out front persona. In contrast, when seeing clients in residential weekend workshops, the doors open up to seeing firsthand how they interact with others. We can immediately view their deeper and usually hidden shadow parts that don’t normally come out in individual sessions.
We can witness how others react to them, what their family roles were and where they are on the Victim, Rescuer, Persecutor triangle. This saves months and often years of individual therapy in order to treat clients most effectively.
It also brings to our attention their relationships with authority figures (the teachers), with siblings (other group members), and with family in general. In our 30 plus years of offering group hypnotherapy work through our Internships, Personal Transformation Intensives and Mentor trainings, we assist students to work through their dysfunctional family patterns in a safe and supportive environment.
In order to do that, Wellness has established the clearing process which brings the projections of group members into the light and uses these projections, not to shame people, but to help them grow into a higher level of self awareness. This is what we term Personal Transformation.
Another important aspect of safety in group work is full commitment to the group. Many people have experienced abandonment in their lives by the people closest to them. This pattern has made it difficult for many people, including therapists, to deal with abandonment issues, and often prompts them to leave relationships rather than stay and work through these shadow projections. The title of a book on borderline personality describes the conundrum that many people need to address: I Hate You: Don’t Leave Me.
They project their abandonment, the fear of being left, and then react with hostility to their own perception of abandonment. This pattern of defensiveness often causes the exact abandonment that they expect. In order to protect themselves from the real or imagined abandonment, the client often becomes the one to leave a relationship first as a defense against the imagined rejection.
In creating a supportive and healthy group environment, the Internship groups at The Wellness Institute put into place many safeguards against recreating these unhealthy family patterns. Along with the commitment and clearing processes, we promote new family patterns. We offer a chance to be in a Mastermind group which is a smaller nucleus within the larger group experience. This supports weekly or bi-weekly check ins, between the group meetings, with a 4 member cohort of their choosing. We do our Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy sessions in pairs which establishes deeper bonding. During the second year of the Internship, after many close ties have been established, we introduce a deeper group healing experience in the form of altered state psychodrama.