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Applying for Group Counseling

Admission to  group counseling is now on a rolling basis. A new group starts once a minimum of seven members confirm participation. The dates of the sessions are agreed upon by all participants. You can request to join a group by filling out THIS FORM. After submitting your request, you will receive an invitation to a one-on-one live meeting. During the meeting, you will learn about the rules of group counseling and you will fill out some questionnaires. Thus the preliminary preparation will be complete and you can look forward to the first group meeting!

What is group counseling?

Group counseling is a popular format in counseling psychology and psychotherapy in which participants create a safe environment for sharing feedback. The communication exchange is focused on the here-and-now. It is guided by the principles of mutual respect, acceptance and support. Participants are equally entitled to engage other group members in personal issues, but are not required to actively participate in every single meeting.

Who is group counseling suitable for?

Group counseling is suitable for anyone who has difficulty communicating with others, whether in an intimate, social or work context. During its formation, the group is open to all adults, regardless of their previous experience in counseling and/or psychotherapy. After the first three meetings, the group is closed and no new participants are allowed to join.

What will I learn?

The purpose of the group is to provide a safe environment where everyone can freely give and receive feedback, practise communication skills, explore how past trauma affects their ability to connect and build relationships in the present. Unprocessed trauma makes it difficult to fully communicate in the present, but we are often unaware of the principles by which this mechanism works. If you have experience in counseling and psychotherapy, participating in a group gives you the opportunity to purposefully practice communication skills and overcome barriers to connection. If you have no previous experience, the group is a catalyst for self-reflection and the feedback you will receive from the participants will show you your “blind spots”.

How are the meetings structured?

The meetings are exclusively face-to-face. They run once on a biweekly basis, for 80 mins without a break. Group counseling is a commitment, because your absence or tardiness directly affects the other participants. The minimal number of members is six. The end of the meetings is open, i.e. the group decides when to terminate the process. Meetings are usually between 15 and 20. It is recommended that participants avoid contact with each other outside of group sessions. If such contact occurs, it is advisable that it is addressed in the following group session. The price per participant varies between BGN 25 and 30 per session, depending on the number of attendees. All group members also have the option to join a closed Facebook group to share resources related to the counseling process.

What theory is group counseling based on?

Each theoretical modality has a corresponding adaptation for a group format. As in individual counseling, I use CBT in the group, but in the group format, more Schema Therapy elements are incorporated. Participants will have the opportunity to identify their maladaptive schemas and determine how those schemas drive certain dysfunctional behaviors.

For more information, you can contact me directly at plovdivtherapy@gmail.com.
If you are interested in another counseling format, you can find out more here.

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