An outline of group therapy (focus on depression) – cont ..

session 7 – Reframing negative thoughts. Attempting to give members the choice and responsibility to either try and alter thinking/behaviour patterns or try and stay with, tolerate and understand negative experience. How one need not exclude the other and how both are needed [known/unknown, defences/possibilities]. Primary and secondary negative thoughts, looking at feelings of having undesirable feelings, looking again at the choice of ‘staying’ with certain feelings rather than acting out, feeling worse, numbing down, withdrawing etc. mindfulness exercise

8- Current being in relationships. Highlighting the fundamental relational nature of humans, how external and internal isolation feeds meaninglessness and depression. Check beliefs: Is depression personal and internal or interpersonal? How one affects the other? The isolating and self-absorbing tendencies of depression. Talking further about the experience and process of being in relationship in the group, both therapist and members. How understanding is unfolded in relation to each other. Ways of maintaining inner and outer dialogue, understanding and meaning versus withdrawing, procrastinating and staying stuck. Share experiences of how our group dynamics have been, also our coming ending. Homework: what does myself [or my inner child from w6] still needs in order to feel complete or safe and motivated enough to open up to life. How do I view myself in relation to the world?

9- Self esteem and looking for the future. Looking at last week’s homework. How is depression understood in relation to perceived weaknesses and strengths? Looking at self perceptions and future aspirations. Exercise focusing on give and take on different levels [material, emotional, social, spiritual] Exercise: talk in pairs [15min] Presenting the idea of providing each other with ‘gifts’, things that we feel the other would find fulfilling, share this in group discussion. The group is asked how they would like to organise next week’s session, it’s up to them! It could be open and spontaneous or structured [encouraging responsibility, action]

10- art therapy and body work – relaxation techniques, mindfulness 

11- Endings – looking at how endings, separations and loses link to depression. How one can relate to inevitable endings [loss, death] and how one contributes to endings [running away from life, withdrawing]. How do we live knowing that endings are part of life? Sharing experiences of endings. How our coming ending has affected our process in the group? What has been reminiscent of? Where is the depression in all these? What do we lose by separating in our group, what valuable have we gained, how can we take it ahead in our life?#

12 – Taking stock – balance between being reflective, aware – and light, empty, here/now. The importance of finding serious reasons of having fun in life, finding meanings in new or forgotten positive experiences. What was positive in the past? What has come up in the last 12 weeks? Brainstorming exercise. Fears and future aspirations. Present members with feedback, core forms and some pencils and papers for them to draw what they feel at the time. Last 30 minutes: presenting drawings and discussion

Leo Dolias



online skype counselling psychotherapy