What does a general group therapy structure look like in a practice? Do you think some of your existing clients would benefit from group therapy? What happens at the end of a client’s time in group therapy?
In this podcast episode, Alison Pidgeon speaks with Lisa Wolcott about Group Therapy in Private Practice.
Meet Lisa Wolcott
Lisa Wolcott is a psychotherapist in private practice, licensed in FL and CA. She has a growing and thriving group practice and provides individual, couple, and group therapy. She’s a certified group therapist, a leader in group work, certified Daring Way™ provider, and weaves in the work of Brené Brown on courage and vulnerability. Lisa believes group work is the most direct pathway to personal growth, and deep, satisfying, authentic relationships of all kinds–all the skills we need for being human. She’s a mom and business owner and lives with her family in Florida.
Email Lisa at: email@example.com
In This Podcast
- Lisa’s group therapy tips
- Logistics of group therapy
- Ending group therapy
Lisa’s group therapy tips
Have lots of conversations about group therapy with your colleagues and clients before offering group.
- This allows people to understand what the dynamics are and how they may relate to the situation
Group is a commitment:
- Let clients know that their presence affects people as well as how their absence affects people.
Lay down the expectations:
- Give the clients a fair warning about what they may experience without frightening them. Provide them with an idea of what they may experience because it can help prepare them for the tough times to know that the tough times are necessary for their treatment.
It’s a lot of preparation and laying the groundwork … and letting [the clients] in on the fact that there will be times where they feel resentful and [encourage] them to bring that into the group. There will be times where they feel triggered and just want to leave the group, but that’s where the most important work happens. (Lisa Wolcott)
Logistics of group therapy
There are different ways of bringing clients into group therapy. You could have:
- A separate filing system dedicated to converting clients into group therapy clients when they first sign-on
- Speak to your already existing clients who you think would be a good fit for your group, and who you think would benefit from being within a group therapy context.
When you are considering adding a member to the group, prepare the already existing group first for a session or two.
Lisa’s group logistics:
- Group therapy runs once a week
- Sessions are 90-minutes long
- The average cost is $50 to $65 on a sliding scale
- Some clients pay cash and some pay with insurance
Ending group therapy
In Lisa’s experience, people spend an average of three to four years in group therapy before feeling ready to step away. Sometimes they have to move away due to life circumstances, such as going to study or getting a job in another town or state.
I don’t see a lot of fall-off in terms of [people saying] “I’m not getting anything out of this group anymore”. I think people can continue to grow in the group as long as they stay in the group, and I love people who stay long-term, but everybody’s different. (Lisa Wolcott)
Some people join groups for assistance with a specific issue. Once they feel that the issue has been resolved or they are more capable of handling it, they will privately come to the therapist and discuss a potential upcoming exit.
Prepare the group beforehand when you know that there is a client with whom they have been working that is leaving soon.
In general I say [to] let the group know as soon as you’re thinking about it so that people can honor and process the work you’ve done and you can have the gift of hearing the impact you’ve had on other people because it’s usually much more significant than they realize and that’s just a wonderful thing. (Lisa Wolcott)
Useful links mentioned in this episode:
- Visit the Wolcott Counseling website
- Connect with them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn
- Email Lisa at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- American Group Psychotherapy Association
Check out these additional resources:
- Shannon Heers on How To Incorporate Group Therapy in Your Practice | GP 90
- Group Practice Launch
- Group Practice Boss: www.practiceofthepractice.com/grouppracticeboss $149 a month
- Email Alison: email@example.com
- PoP Group Practice Owners Facebook Group
- Free resources to help you start, grow, and scale
- Work with us
- Consult With Alison
- Alison Pidgeon on Therapy for Your Money Podcast
- Practice of the Practice Network
Meet Alison Pidgeon, Group Practice Owner
Alison Pidgeon, LPC is the owner of Move Forward Counseling, a group practice in Lancaster, PA and she runs a virtual assistant company, Move Forward Virtual Assistants.
Alison has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016. She has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, through mastermind groups and individual consulting.
Transformation From A Private Practice To Group Practice
In addition, she is a private practice consultant for Practice of the Practice. Allison’s private practice ‘grew up.’ What started out as a solo private practice in early 2015 quickly grew into a group practice and has been expanding ever since.
Thanks For Listening!
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