Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Would Group Therapy work for me?" written by our Guest Psychologist Neli Martin North Brisbane

Often when we have a sense that our lives are not working in some way; our mood is flat, depressed, we feel there is no point or we feel anxious and strung out just about everything, the last thing on our mind is sharing all this inner turmoil with others.

“I don’t want to be a burden,”
“People wouldn’t listen,”
“What would they think?”

These become paramount thoughts urging us to clam up and keep all this inside while trying to put on a happy face to the world, hoping it will all just go away and get better on its own.

Research would indicate that this is not actually a good strategy for our long term health, wellbeing and vitality. The old adage, “a problem shared is a problem halved” seems to be true.

In the supportive environment of group psychology strategies sessions, people who come to my groups begin to open up and reveal vulnerabilities in their lives with pleasant surprises. It seems that we are all carrying the same secret. That one of judgement and self-criticism. It may be individually specific in terms of content (i.e. what this is), but is generic in terms of the fact that we all have it to a greater or lesser extent. And certainly for some it doesn’t create big problems in their lives, but for others it’s like living with an inner tyrant.

It seems that many of us yearn for connection with others in an authentic way. See Brene Brown talking on this

When we reveal our deeper fears in a safe way, we can relax, focus on what is important in our lives and get moving in that direction.

The group allows the opportunity to learn some skills in being mindful of our inner processes of thoughts and feelings, so they have less impact and influence in our lives. These are the skills of psychological flexibility which is the aim of ACT; Acceptance and Commitment Training. See

For more information on Group Focussed Psychological Strategies (ACTing with Mindfulness), visit my website

NeLi (Janelle Louise) Martin
Psychologist. Yoga and Meditation Teacher         
APS Buddhism & Psychology Interest Group (BPIG) Qld Co-ordinator
ACT Interest Group Co-ordinator Brisbane
WILSTON Qld 4051 Australia