New groups beginning September 2017

 

How do I know if this grief group therapy is something that might be beneficial for me?

Grief is a normal and inevitable reaction to the death of a loved one. The journey of grief is unique to everyone but at the same time, very similar for everyone in at least one way-it hurts. Sometimes people with the support of others are able to move through their grief process without complications, others are not.

This group would be useful to you it has been more than a few months, but not more than 12 months since the death of your loved one and you are dealing with one or more of the following:

  • struggling to accept the death of your loved one
  • feeling afraid to really allow yourself to feel your feelings about the loss
  • feeling overwhelmed by your emotional expression of grief
  • criticizing yourself for not being “stronger” and being able to control your emotions
  • actively avoiding places and/or activities that you shared with your deceased loved one
  • feeling alone in your grief because no one understands you or everyone thinks you should be “over it by now” or
  • feeling like you have no purpose or are lost without your loved one.

How is a grief therapy group different from a grief support group?

Grief support groups are usually open groups, in that individuals are welcome to attend whenever desired. These groups usually do not have a limit on the number of individuals that may attend. For a group of any kind to be therapeutic-to meet the intended needs of the groups-the group members must be able to develop a sense of safety and trust within the group. This only happens when the same people make a commitment to attend the group on a consistent basis. Most grief support groups also do not have limits on the number of people who may attend. This makes it difficult for everyone in attendance to have their individual needs met. Finally, most grief support groups are not facilitated by mental health psychotherapists.

Grief therapy groups are led by mental health psychotherapists who have expertise in group psychotherapy, grief, and related concerns. The psychotherapist completes an assessment with every perspective group participant to first determine if their needs will be best met in the group setting. Then the psychotherapist considers the needs of other perspective group members as well as other factors to determine which group the individual would best fit in.

As with this group, grief therapy groups are typically limited to 6-8 participants. This is to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to have their individual needs met, in addition to receiving the support of the group as a whole.

Why can’t I participate in the grief therapy group during the first two months after the death of my loved one or after one year?

During the first few months after the death of a loved one, the grief process is most intense, and requires more time and attention than that which is available in a group process. Also, during this acute period of grief, it is too difficult to focus on the structured process of a grief therapy group.

While there isn’t a set time in which our grief process should end, or become more less intense and more integrated into our lives, most individuals who are still experiencing the symptoms of grief (listed above) after a year, are experiencing a more complicated grief that require the process of individual psychotherapy.

Why does the grief therapy group only last 10 weeks?

As grief is a form of love expressed for someone who has died, the grief process never really ends. However, the goal of the grief therapy group is to provide the therapeutic intervention needed to remove the obstacles that have prevented you from moving through your grief process and beginning the process of finding new meaning in your living without your loved one. The therapeutic interventions provided in the 10-week grief therapy process are usually sufficient to allow you to move forward in this way.

Do I have to attend every grief group therapy session?

One of the benefits of group therapy is building a sense of trust and support among group members. This requires a commitment by each individual member to the group. So it is important that you attend almost all, if not all of the ten sessions.

Also, since this grief group is a therapeutic one, it has been designed in a way that the previous group session will serve as a foundation for the next group session. So, it is also important for you to be consistent in your attendance to obtain optimal benefit from the group.

You must be present at the first session.

May I attend the same group with another family member?

While this is possible in special situations, it is better for individuals and the other members of the group to attend a grief therapy group without other family members. Since the grief process is unique for every family member, it is important that every member is able to express their grief in the way that they need to without having to worry about how other family member will react. Often, the grief therapy group is the only space in which this is possible.

When does the grief therapy group meet?

New 10-week grief therapy groups will begin in September 2017.

What is the cost of the grief therapy group?

The cost of each grief therapy session is $750. The total of $750 is due in 2 installments; $375 at the first group session and $375 at the sixth group session.

Why do I have to pay for some of the group therapy sessions in advance?

Paying for the first five group sessions on the first day and the remaining five groups on the day of the sixth session is standard practice. One of the primary reasons is to increase the level of commitment of the participants.

As mentioned above, it is important for members to make a commitment to attend the group each week, as this is what creates an atmosphere of safety and trust among group members.

 What do I need to do if I am interested in joining the group?

Because this is a structured therapeutic grief therapy group, you will first need to contact me via email drsonya@sonyalott.com or phone at 267-825-0467, to schedule a 20-minute phone consultation, During this consultation, I will answer any questions you have about the group. I will also conduct a brief assessment to determine if your grief related concerns would best be addressed in individual or group grief therapy setting.

If it is determined that the grief therapy group would be most appropriate, I will email an assessment packet to you that you would need to complete and bring with you to the first grief therapy group session.

Each group is limited to 8 participants.  New groups will begin again at the end of September 2017.