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Fireside Chats: A Social Support Group

I once had a whitewater kayaking instructor tell me, “my hope for you is that you embrace uncertainty.” Through kayaking, I learned that no matter how hard I try, I will inevitably come across unpredictable and unknown currents that may lead me to rough waters….and sometimes I might even a hit a rock.  I also learned how to find an “eddy” – the calmer parts of the river.  I learned to enjoy riding unknown waters, as well as the value of working with others while developing my own skills.  

During this unprecedented season of uncertainty, we need others to support us as we navigate these uncertain times.  Studies have indicated that group therapy is at least as effective if not at times more effective as individual therapy, especially when individuals are wanting to enhance their quality of relationships.  Thus, Intown Counseling & Wellness is proud to introduce Fireside Chats: A Social Support Group.  Fireside chats are a 75 minute weekly social support group based on group therapy principles advocated by Dr. Irvin Yalom, one of the world’s leading experts on group therapy.

This group therapy is for clients that may want to increase their quality of life in the following ways:

  1. Gain insight about interpersonal relationships
  2. Offer and receive feedback from others
  3. Enhance interpersonal relationships and communication
  4. Safety to openly talk about their feelings
  5. Facilitate understanding and insight into one’s own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors by looking at relationship patterns both inside and outside a group context
  6. Increase understanding of other people’s thoughts, behaviors, and feelings
  7. Improves self-esteem, self-image, and self confidence
  8. Undergo personal change within a group with the hope of carrying that learning over into one’s outside life

The therapist in this type of group therapy is more of a facilitator than teacher. Clients are encouraged to talk about relationship or personal issues pertaining to the goals and problems that led them to group therapy.  Therapy is viewed as most productive when it is a collaboration and experience of all group participants contributing input.  Clients are urged to ask questions, offer support, share associations and thoughts, and process things said or not said.  Input from other members of the group frequently might be more important that the leader’s comments.  At times, the therapist may make observations about group behaviors and interactions, what individuals say or do in a group, or on progress within the group.  Much focus will be on examining the relations between members in the present, and clients will be asked to share their impressions of one another as well as their positive feelings, thoughts and fears.  The more work down in the present (also called here-and-now moments) of the group, the more effective the group will be.  

If you are interested in participating in our social support group, please call to schedule an initial consultation with the group leader, Monica Bestawros, LMFT at monica@intowncounseling.com.   Also, feel free to call our office at (404) 478-9890 or visit our website, www.intowncounseling.com.  We select members for each group with the intention of creating a cohesive, supportive and balanced group learning experience. 

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