Clients Responses

In a newly formed group and, at times, in ongoing groups, it is quite common for members to express annoyance in attitude when they cannot turn group therapy into individual therapy and talk about their life experiences outside of the room. Spontaneously disclosing oneself in a room of other people or disclosing how one feels about another person is uncomfortable, especially if it is a relatedness style foreign to one's usual manner of self-expression. It is not uncommon to hear clients say that they do not want to hurt another person's feelings by telling him or her how they feel about what was said or how it was said. Nor is it unusual for clients to feel overwhelmed, rejected, and criticized when they hear others directly tell them how the others feel about what the client has disclosed and the manner in which the disclosure was presented.

This is not to suggest that all the client responses are negative to this intervention. The majority of the time, clients are grateful for the insight given them by the other group members. It provides them the opportunity to change how they relate to others and experience their lives and interpersonal relationships more effectively and with greater satisfaction. It, too, sends a very clear message and that is finally someone has listened when he or she has spoken.

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