What is Group Therapy? People ask this over the phone, thinking Group might be for them. They ask at parties and networking events. Sometimes group members themselves ask. What do you think it is? I ask them. Well, like a support group? Not quite. The main difference in the groups that I run is that … Continue reading What is Group Therapy?
I was speaking with a friend the other day and he asked, "Jacob, what do you think of the state of the world?" He was asking mostly about the environment, climate change, the scary shift in global politics toward xenophobia. "Well," I said, "at the risk of sounding young, optimistic and naive, I think we're … Continue reading The Loneliness of Being Human
My dad once gave me a notebook and inscribed "write your truth and the truth will set you free," inside the cover. Truth and Freedom have been orienting values for most of my life. In my twenties, as an ardent seeker of spiritual wisdom and mystical experience, I believed that some transcendent truth about the … Continue reading And the truth shall set you free
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when? --Hillel In less than a week, a group of brave therapists and I will go on a journey. Although some may travel across large swathes of New Jersey to attend, … Continue reading If Not Now, When?
Or, What Has Group Therapy Ever Done For Us? In Monty Python’s Life of Bryan there is a scene where the rebel leader asks, “What have the Romans ever done for us?” The expected answer is, “Nothing!” inspiring and justifying the ensuing acts of violence. Instead, after several responses, the leader is forced to specify: All right, but … Continue reading Making the Intra-psychic Interpersonal
There is a wonderful little book called The Wild Edge of Sorrow. It speaks eloquently about the importance of grieving, how it connects us to the wild within us, makes us more alive. It talks about how in our culture especially, we're taught to run from grief, to avoid it, dismiss it, deny it, cover it … Continue reading Grieving in Group
"Dreams are today's answers to tomorrow's questions. " -- Edgar Cayce I just led a workshop on dreams that went very well. Yet when I sit down to write a blog post about dreamwork, I get stuck. This site is primarily devoted to group psychotherapy. The style of group therapy that I'm inspired by is Modern … Continue reading What Dreams May Come
I considered naming this post, "Why Every Therapist Should Run A Group," but the truth is, group isn't for everyone. Most people don't want to be challenged. This applies to therapists as much as anyone else. We all have a natural predilection to maintain what is familiar, comfortable and predictable, even if this tendency exacts … Continue reading Vitality and Belonging part 2
May I tell you a story? I vividly remember my first group therapy training weekend three years ago at the Center for Group Studies in NYC. It was held at the Warwick, a hotel that comes across as glamorous, almost magical, with pictures of famous actors and actresses adorning the walls. There were twenty other … Continue reading A Story and an Invitation
Our craft can be lonely. We're often drawn to helping others because of our own longing for connection, intimacy, empathy, authenticity and security in the face of the irrational. We fill our days and our weeks serving others and it is easy to lose sight of the needs of the person in the therapist chair. … Continue reading What Group Gives Us
I submitted a proposal to present at the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society's Annual Conference in November. The topic is on working in the Here and Now, specifically with an approach developed by Betty Joseph, a prominent Kleinian psychoanalyst. Joseph's significant contribution, as I presently understand it, was to pay close attention to how patients unconsciously … Continue reading Applying Betty Joseph’s Here and Now to Group