Groups vs. Individual Counseling?

With all of these theories and ideas about what works in helping people overcome the issues of life, why would we choose to offer groups?

G4-1

Below, we have listed five benefits of facing life’s struggles in a group context:

  1. Groups help us realize we’re not alone. One of the lies that we often believe is that our problems are isolated to us. Though no two problems are exactly the same, there is great benefit to learning that others are dealing with similar struggles.
      • Genesis 3: What was Adam and Eve’s first response to their sin. They immediately tried to cover themselves ad hide from God. Human nature since the fall has been to cover our sin and hide it from others. We do this because of the mistaken belief that no one else has committed the same sin or struggled with similar issues. Or, at the very least that their issues were not as bad as ours.
      • Isolating ourselves away from God and others in an attempt to cover our sin only causes shame to grow.
  2. Groups provide accountability through community. God has given us Himself, the Gospel, the Bible, and the church and promised they are effective for all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).  Our task as Christians is to grow in our understanding of and ability to skillfully apply these resources to our struggles. Groups give us an opportunity to explore God’s Word in the context of a Christian community. We learn from one another and correct one another lovingly
  3. Groups provide a safe place for transparency. Hearing others be honest about their struggle is often a prompt for us to be more honest about our struggle. Because change begins with being honest about our struggle, this type of transparency is foundational to effective, lasting change.
  4. Groups provide an opportunity for us to both give and receive support. Different from individual counseling, groups allow us to not only receive support, but to offer it as well. Individual counseling, by nature, is one directional. Groups give us an opportunity for mutual relationships.
  5. Groups give us an opportunity to practice. Because groups are a microcosm of society at large, group members have an opportunity to not only learn skills but practice them in an environmental setting. Group members find great benefit from learning valuable life skills while attending group sessions. Because all change is lived out in relationship this “lab environment” is very helpful for group members.

Why do we call our groups G4 Groups?

 “G” is for Gospel-Centered Groups – Rather than making an issue, struggle or sin the centerpiece of our groups, we strive to make the gospel of Christ the core of all of our groups. Our identity is not found in an issue, but in an individual – the person of Christ.

“4” designate the four types of groups that will be featured:

  1. Recovery – Groups for those struggling with a life-dominating sin, addiction or traumatic life event.
  2. Support – Groups for those needing encouragement and support during a period of suffering or hardship.
  3. Therapeutic Educational – Groups for those needing information and/or resources about a specific life issue.
  4. Process – Groups for those needing help processing problematic emotions or multiple life stressors.

Return to Training Manual HomePage

One thought on “Groups vs. Individual Counseling?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s