Psychotherapy


through movement

I have been working therapeutically with groups for more than 20 years within a variety of health and educational contexts and settings. I provide group clinical supervision, as well as reflective practice sessions for organisations and mental health teams. Below you will find an overview of my experience and aims within the group process, as well as how I structure a typical session. If you have any specific questions please refer to the FAQ’s, or contact me directly.


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Group Process

forming . struggling . cooperation . unity . closure

In my experience no two groups are the same, not only because of the specific focus or purpose of the group but also because of the individuals who make up the unique culture and their influence on the group process. Group therapy differs from individual therapy as the diverse experiences, abilities and backgrounds of the other members can offer valuable insight and support. Often this is in context of people who may have similar difficulties, potentially offering perspective on personal issues, new coping strategies, and the reassurance of not being "the only one who feels like this". Although the level at which group members identify with and support one another differs from group to group, each group process will generally pass through similar stages in different measures:
1. getting to know one another as the group forms;
2. conflict, competition and struggling for leadership;
3. cooperation as leadership becomes shared and a sense of community develops;
4. unity as relationships deepen and individuals feel accepted and valued for their contributions; and
5. closure.


talk . move . move & talk . talk

A group session always starts with an opportunity to come together to check in with one another, to share individual feelings and life events. It is during this opening circle that a common theme may emerge which can give the session a framework and provide a personal reference for individual exploration. The group is then encouraged to transition from this initial verbal/mental dialogue to a position of greater physical awareness in which they can begin to notice how they are feeling on a body level. After a warm up, which depending on the client group may be seated, slow and gentle, or energetic and explosive, the group begin to creatively explore the identified theme individually, in pairs or as a larger group. Props, such as parachutes, scarves and balls can be used to stimulate movement opportunity and support exploration of the theme. Verbally checking in, voicing thoughts and feelings and sharing metaphors or ideas to progress the group process are encouraged throughout, ensuring that movement experiences become integrated and conscious in the moment as much as possible. In preparation for ending, the movement slows, inviting participants to reflect on their personal experience. The group then comes back together, where they are invited to share their experiences, insights and new found awareness through words, movements, or art work.

Session Structure

FAQ's

How does group DMP differ from other therapy groups?

Group DMP is similar in many ways to verbal group therapy, serving as a social microcosm and a reenactment of the primary family in which social functioning can be explored. However it is the use of movement which makes DMP a unique approach in psychotherapy, as the therapist and group can embody and reflect back a participant’s emotional state in movement, helping to invite insight and integration of feelings, thoughts and actions in the present moment. Group DMP has the potential to increase vitality and invite a greater sense of embodiment, spontaneity and playfulness which can also contribute to the process of group cohesiveness.

What groups have you worked with in the past?

I have worked in specialist inpatient hospitals facilitating groups for a range of patient populations, such as adult Deaf mental health, schizophrenia, eating disorders and borderline personality disorder. I have also worked in outpatient and community settings including, day centres, care homes and sheltered accommodation providing a range of groups including those for older people and carers of individuals with mental health difficulties. I have worked in the field of learning disability within residential settings, day centres and schools providing movement psychotherapy and therapeutic movement groups. I have also run therapeutic movement groups with individuals with sensory impairment and facilitated dance projects with Deaf and hard of hearing children/young people. My experience also includes providing groups within holistic retreats, residential drug and alcohol recovery units as well as for young children and their carers. I also facilitate group clinical supervision, as well as reflective practice sessions for organisations and mental health teams.

I want to join a group, how much does it cost?

If you are interested in a group that is currently running please contact me directly for specific details.

Can I register my interest in a particular type of group I would like to participate in, for example, body image?

Yes, please send me a message via my "contact" page letting me know what kind of groups you are interested in, and I will then let you know when relevant groups are due to run in the future.

How much do you charge to run a therapy group or workshop?

The cost of facilitating a group session is dependent on many different factors, such as location, client group and length of the group.

How long is a group session?

Normally groups are between 1 and 2 hours. Longer sessions are possible, usually these are part of in-depth workshops or trainings.

How long do groups run for?

Depending on the purpose and setting of of the group, some groups can run for as short as 6 weeks, whilst others are open ended.

Do I need to commit to all the group sessions or can I simply attend when I am able to?

This depends on whether you are attending an open or closed group. An open group allows you to drop in and out as you feel able to, whereas a closed group requires a commitment from the members to attend all the sessions until the group ends or opens up to new members.

Are the sessions confidential?

Confidentiality is a major aspect of the ground rules which are set at the start of the group. The group will agree on how they will manage and respect one another's personal material and the boundaries around the group experience. As in individual therapy, the therapist will only break confidentiality within the ethical boundaries of the supervisory relationship, in the instance of concerns around the safety or threat of serious harm to a group member or another person, or if asked to provide evidence in a court of law.

Can you facilitate a group focusing on a particular theme?

Yes, groups can be designed to address and explore particular themes, for example self-esteem in adolescents, and run for a set amount of time. This kind of specialist group can be very effective as the work has the potential to be very focused. In my experience this supports cohesive membership around shared experience in relation to the specific theme.

What locations do you run groups from?

I run groups in Sussex and London and consider other locations when invited to facilitate a specialist group or workshop series.

What facilities are needed to run a group?

The most important facility is having a safe, clean and private space which is big enough to hold all the members comfortably when moving around the room. Access to chairs and cushions or bean bags (depending on the client group) is also needed to bring the group together in opening and closing the sessions.

What is the minimum and maximum number of participants required for a group session?

Depending on the client group and room size, the minimum number of participants should be around 4 and the maximum 8-10. However if I am co-facilitating or supported by a staff member or student from the setting, a higher maximum number can be possible.

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