For some people, working through problems alongside people who understand what you’re going through can feel reassuring. You may find that a group setting works better for you, where there is a supportive environment with a shared understanding of difficulties and how to manage and overcome these problems in your life.
The groups we offer include:
- Stress and Worry
- Pain Management
- Tree of Life/Recovery Support
The groups run on different days and locations throughout Lambeth, however, they usually take place in our team bases in Brixton or St Thomas’ Hospital.
The formats of the groups are as follows:
- An introductory session which outlines the purpose of the group and allows clients to meet the other group members and to begin to explore how therapy can help with their difficulties.
- The remainder of the group then takes place over the course of 5-11 weekly sessions.
- Group members will develop and practice using CBT skills both during and in-between sessions.
- The duration of each session is approximately 1.5 hours.
The Depression Group
The depression group draws on the extensive literature and evidence base for CBT and depression. This includes the work of Aaron Beck (1967), Padesky and Greenberger (1995) and Paul Gilbert (2010).
This group explores people’s personal experience of depression and provides a psychological explanation, using a CBT framework, of how depression is developed and maintained.
The main focus of the treatment is exploring how unhelpful patterns of behaviour and negative thinking develop in response to depression and experimenting with making changes in these patterns in order to overcome depression. As the sessions progress we will also look at ideas and beliefs which may underlie depression and ways of managing such beliefs. The group will also look at how to continue to use the CBT skills they have learnt once treatment has come to end, including how to manage setbacks, to ensure that group members sustain and continue to make further progress in overcoming depression.
The Recovery Support Group
Some people feel like they need a bit of ongoing support after treatment, and this is exactly what the Recovery Support Group aims to offer. After taking part in ‘The Tree of Life Group’, new members move into the existing peer-led group, which runs once a week. Having support from other people who have also experienced mental health difficulties can be incredibly valuable, especially to those who may not have had contact with people who have had similar issues. We provide a relaxed, informal and friendly atmosphere in which service users can come and talk about their experiences, share in their achievements and offer each other confidential support and advice.
The group is less structured than treatment and you can attend once a week or once a month – whatever works best for you. Whatever you decided, there will always be a cup of tea and friendly faces here each week to talk to.
Living with Chronic Pain
The living with chronic pain group looks at how chronic pain affects not just the body but also people’s thoughts, feelings and actions. Over time, negative thinking patterns and unhelpful ways of coping can develop, which can then maintain depression or anxiety associated with the pain. The group is based on the CBT model and runs for eight weeks.
It helps people to identify and set meaningful and achievable goals for themselves, practice pacing (i.e. getting a more balanced level of activity), notice unhelpful ways of thinking, and develop more helpful alternatives. It also introduces basic ‘mindfulness’ skills, helping people to practice a non-judgemental awareness of their thoughts, feelings and physical sensations in the present moment. Importantly, the group provides a supportive environment and enables members to feel understood by meeting others living with chronic pain.