Preface

Dear Colleagues and Future Colleagues,

The book you are about to read is unusual in the specialty of group therapy. It has been written by group therapists, of which I am one, but that is not unusual as most group therapy books are written by group therapists. It is unusual because the format of the book, which is quite simple in design and yet profound, not only tells us about the creative work of our colleagues but also tells us about our colleagues themselves.

We group therapists are an unusual lot, to say the least. We are, I truly believe by nature, a group of professionals who seek and perhaps need to work with groups of other individuals. We are the "aggregators." We bring people together and this intrinsic motivation appears to be an inherent part of the totality of our being.

We have overcome whatever obstacles that may have inhibited us in the past, if any. Those who have not developed group therapy practices may not have the motivation to join or come together as a whole in a similar manner as we do.

We, too, are a funny lot in our general psychological and personality makeup. We have moments in our work of brilliance, passion, ignorance, excitement, humor, sadness, anxiety, pride, success, failure, etc. etc. etc., but do not seem to have too much difficulty expressing these emotions about our work to other group therapists. We can be a forthright group of individuals and I would also like to add that the majority of us dance with abandonment when we come together at our conventions.

I guess, it definitely sounds like we are human and because we are human we have the hope of changing the world in a positive direc tion-a few people at a time while sitting face to face in a circle in an arena of emotional expression.

These extraordinary people have written the book you are about to read. Ultimately, through their work, their motivation is to bring harmony and balance into a person's life and thus ultimately bring harmony and balance into the world.

You are going to be taken on a very interesting trip. A trip written by individuals who have subjectively observed their work and themselves in order to bring to you interventions that have been successful with their clients, in group therapy, and which you may replicate in the hope that they will be successful for you if faced with similar group or client issues.

You may agree with the intervention or you may not agree with the intervention but whichever you may feel, allow yourself to take the trip along with them. In our agreements and disagreements, we have the greatest opportunities to learn about our work and about ourselves. It is this self-knowledge that ultimately is the core of our work and determines whether we will be attuned to both the internal and external processes in our clients and in ourselves.

No matter how much one may believe that he or she can separate the essence of his or her being from his or her work, the chances are highly unlikely that will be the case. This is why we as group therapists encourage future group therapists and practicing group therapists to have the experience of being a group therapy member for the purpose of understanding others and self-knowledge. There is an old Orthodox psychoanalytic statement which says, "We can only take a patient as far as we ourselves have gone."

It is my hope that you, dear reader, will go quite far and that you enjoy and learn a lot from these forthcoming authors and their chapters. I know I did.

Chapter 1

Do Not Panic

Do Not Panic

This guide Don't Panic has tips and additional information on what you should do when you are experiencing an anxiety or panic attack. With so much going on in the world today with taking care of your family, working full time, dealing with office politics and other things, you could experience a serious meltdown. All of these things could at one point cause you to stress out and snap.

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