Why Group Work?

"The best part about being with a group is that you don’t have to do everything alone.”

                                                                                                                 – Anonymous

This quote may seem like a pretty obvious truth – of course you won’t do everything alone if you’re in a group!

However, it is an obvious truth that we often forget.

It can be easy to slide into isolation when we’re feeling down, especially for those suffering from an invisible illness or problem, but this is the exact opposite of the action that is most likely to help us climb out of that pit. Loneliness and isolation tend to breed more loneliness and isolation, but making the (often difficult or exhausting) effort to connect with others is just the thing we may need to start feeling better.

As uncomfortable as it may sound, sometimes sharing difficult thoughts and feelings in a group setting can be extremely effective in facilitating healing.

This quote describes how sharing can help:

“Some of the most comforting words in the universe are ‘me too.’ That moment when you find out that your struggle is also someone else’s struggle, that you’re not alone, and that others have been down the same road.” – Anonymous

In The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy, Irvin D. Yalom outlines the key therapeutic principles that have been derived from self-reports from individuals who have been involved in the group therapy process:

  • The instillation of hope: The group contains members at different stages of the treatment process. Seeing people who are coping or recovering gives hope to those at the beginning of the process.
  • Universality: Being part of a group of people who have the same experiences helps people see that what they are going through is universal and that they are not alone.
  • Imparting information: Group members can help each other by sharing information.
  • Altruism: Group members can share their strengths and help others in the group, which can boost self-esteem and confidence.
  • The corrective recapitulation of the primary family group: The therapy group is much like a family in some ways. Within the group, each member can explore how childhood experiences contributed to personality and behaviors. They can also learn to avoid behaviors that are destructive or unhelpful in real life.
  • Development of socialization techniques: The group setting is a great place to practice new behaviors. The setting is safe and supportive, allowing group members to experiment without the fear of failure.
  • Imitative behavior: Individuals can model the behavior of other members of the group or observe and imitate the behavior of the therapist.
  • Interpersonal learning: By interacting with other people and receiving feedback from the group and the therapist, members of the group can gain a greater understanding of themselves.
  • Group cohesiveness: Because the group is united in a common goal, members gain a sense of belonging and acceptance.
  • Catharsis: Sharing feelings and experiences with a group of people can help relieve pain, guilt, or stress.
  • Existential factors: While working within a group offers support and guidance, group therapy helps member realize that they are responsible for their own lives, actions, and choices.

The American Psychological Association notes another important benefit of group therapy: diversity. We all have different experiences, backgrounds, and personalities, which leads us to our own unique perspective on the world. Working with a group can help clients see things from a new perspective, which may illuminate new ways to take on old problems and new strategies to overcome obstacles that seem insurmountable (APA, 2017).

To make sure you are taking advantage of these benefits of group therapy, follow the following suggestions:

  • Take a pledge. Signing a contract that outlines what is expected of each participant can encourage participants to engage and contribute to group discussions, and provide incentive to engage even when it is difficult.
  • Participate. Some days are more difficult than others when it comes to socializing and sharing with others, and that’s okay. However, the more a client pushes him- or herself to engage, the more likely they are to benefit from the session.
  • Share. Even if a client feels that nobody cares about their problems or they have nothing useful to share with the group, chances are this is not consistent with reality. Everybody has something to share with others, and helping others has a funny way of helping you as well (Cherry, 2017).

Counselling Program

Here's How The Program Works:

We as individuals learn best when our learning is kept accountable, and strengthened by others.

No matter what you are facing today, there are others who have been in the same place as you. 

The Individual Counselling Program involves 2 important pieces:

  • One on One Counselling with your individual therapist
  • Skills Training in a group environment with others who are growing and working through issues.

Our Individual Counselling Program Includes:

  • Group Counselling (skills training) every other week,
  • Individual Counselling on the weeks in between
  • Online resources and coaching calls to help maintain your progress

The Anxiety, Depression, and Stress program helps you address: 

  • Work-Life Balance 
  • Tools for managing stress and/or anxiety
  • Getting yourself motivated
  • Self-care
  • Emotional regulation
  • Confusion about self, ‘who am I’ and self-esteem issues.
  • Boundaries
  • Behavioral, Emotional and Thought patterns that may be contributing to misery, distress and problems in our daily lives

Participants attend 12 consecutive sessions, intermingling group and individual therapy, which helps integrate skills and tools into their lives and supports the process. Each group session stands on it's own; however, the coming together of all the information completes the picture and solidifies the learning. 

Participants also have access to an ongoing portion of the therapeutic process that includes online resources and classes, and coaching calls. 

To receive your certificate of attendance and access to the online resources, you must  have completed all 12 weeks of the program.

The fee structure for the Anxiety, Depression, and Stress Program is as follows:

For those registered in the complete Anxiety, Depression, and Stress program at Michelle Neustaedter Enterprises, the fee for this 12-week program is $1,350** (including gst). 

**(There is a sliding scale for the fee structure based upon income and bills - and the fees can be paid in up to 3 installments plus an enrollment fee. If you have EFAP, EAP, BlueCross or Greenshield, part of the fee can be direct billed without out of pocket cost to you. If you have a health spending account, Manulife, SunLife, ClaimSecure, or any other benefit program, we can discuss further what the fee structure will look like. Depending on your plan, we will determine what the individual cost to you is and create your individualized payment plan)

There are 4 options for the group program:

 In The Office Options

  • Wednesdays at 10:30am
  • Thursdays at 5pm
  • Saturdays at 9am

Virtual - Online Group Meeting 

  • Thursdays at 12pm (lunch hour meeting)

What you will learn in the course of this program:

  • What is Stress, Anxiety, and/or Depression
  • Why you are getting the results you are getting and how to improve those results
  • The importance of self-care and specific steps to improve your self-care
  • How to improve your sense of self-worth, self-esteem, and self-concept (how to challenge the inner critic and kick it once and for all)
  • How to better regulate emotions and reduce the big ups and downs
  • The importance of being intentional and purposeful in the change process
  • How to set boundaries with yourself, and others
  • Tools to better manage your stress, anxiety, and depression

Your Individual Therapist will also help you to integrate these tools and more to ensure maximum shifts in results and expand on your learning as well as deal with any specific issues you would like to discuss. 

To make your individual sessions as productive as possible, we will send out a list of questions we would like you to have answered before coming to the individual one-on-one counselling sessions. 

You will receive a small pocket journal to be used in the counselling process, a pen, a duotang for your group sessions, and a certificate of attendance upon completion. 

At Michelle Neustaedter Counselling, we will support you through your toughest challenges such as:

Relationship Distress

Anxiety and Panic
Eating Disorders
Grief and Loss
Family Counselling and Education
Parenting Skills for Single Parents, Reconstituted Families, or Nuclear Families
Crisis Support
Anger Problems
Health Issues
Work-Life Balance
Personal Growth

These challenges make you feel exhausted, helpless, and hopeless. Such negative thoughts and feelings make some people feel like giving up. It is important to realize that these negative views are a part of the problem and typically do not reflect actual circumstances. It may be time to reach out, find your strengths and free yourself from the snare. 

The Michelle Neustaedter Counselling Team will take you through a transformative healing process. Trauma, anxiety, depression, and stress steal your joy, motivation, and purpose. Using industry leading, innovative, tried, tested, and proven tools, find peace, calm, and joy again.

​"If you want tomorrow to be different than today, you have to learn something today (do something today) that will make tomorrow different; otherwise, you don't really have a tomorrow, you just keep living a longer today." 

​The Rest of Your Life Can Be The Best of Your Life!