Spotlight on…the Group Therapist’s Self-Regulation

This post is courtesy of Alix McMurray, a therapist in Sterling who has keen insight into group facilitation and the complexities involved. Please let us know what you think by adding a comment.

In trauma informed treatment training, we learn that self-regulation is a gift that keeps on giving.  We model calmness and mindfulness for our clients, have them do breathing and visualization exercises and teach them that suffering is a choice, not an inevitability.  When we ourselves are successfully self-regulating, we can retrieve a broader array of interventions from our memory bank, implement them more smoothly, and have the good humor to handle therapeutic pratfalls when they happen.

Your ability to self-regulate will allow you to “draw deep” during tense or chaotic moments in group and transform those moments into learning for your clients (and yourself!)  If you are willing and make the effort to find your center during troubled times, your calm mindfulness will become a renewable resource that you and your clients will benefit from.  Once refreshed, you are better able to implement more complex interventions and to see them through, allowing the fullness of the learning to unfold.

Here are some previous posts in this blog that tap into the importance of staying willing and mindful as a group facilitator:

02/06/2019 Attending to the here-and-now

01/31/2018 ACTIVITY:  All Stand UP (Has clients examine intention versus mindlessness and in so doing, challenges them to think outside their usual box, so facilitator needs to be on-point to challenge while simultaneously showing caring and putting the activity into a useful context for clients.)

11/29/2017 – TIP: Empathy and Boundaries  “One of the biggest gifts we can give someone is to truly see them….”

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