Connection looks a whole lot different these days, doesn’t it?! Just a few months ago, connection often meant a family gathering around the Christmas tree, friends reconnecting at a local restaurant upon returning to college in January, and 24 Kindergarteners sitting on their carpet circles sharing Show and Tell stuffed animals. Now, in April 2020, connection looks like a bunch of Brady Bunch squares on a screen and sounds a lot like, “I have a Zoom meeting in 30 minutes.”
Do you know…all five people in my house had a Zoom meeting at 9 a.m. one day last week? That means finding enough devices, headphones, and sort-of-quiet rooms for each person; a task that, in my opinion, counted as “work” for the whole day.
I read an article recently on a new phenomenon called “virtual fatigue.” The premise is just as it sounds – virtual communication may cause us to feel fatigued. Logically, it’s hard to understand – I mean, we’re just sitting in a (hopefully) comfortable chair, staring at a screen, talking just like we would in-person. What’s so fatiguing about that? On the other side of logic, virtual fatigue also means we’re subconsciously reminded of the stressful time we’re in – the fact we have to work from our bedroom or closet. We have to catch up with our friends and family from the same space in which we work, which may feel like work all over again.Read More »
After reviewing what group therapy (a.k.a. a counseling group) is and how it may be helpful to connect with others as we navigate our own journey, I want to take a few minutes to help familiarize us with different types of counseling groups and the purpose and benefits of them. Depending on where you live, some or all of the types of groups may be offered at varying times and a simple Google search may connect you with them and the counselors who lead them.
Skills-Based Groups. A skills group commonly has a title that reads something like “8 Weeks of Group Guided Meditation.” These groups encourage people who share a common interest to come together to learn and practice skills such as meditation, deep breathing, healthy communication or conflict management. Often, these groups are time-limited and structured in their content and homework. Skills groups are very common as many people find value in learning alongside their peers well after their “school days.”
“Another counselor and I are starting a new group that will meet on Thursday evenings at 6:00 p.m. Are you interested in joining us? No? Are you sure? I haven’t even told you what it’s about yet.”
You mean to tell me you don’t just jump at the bit to share all your deepest, darkest secrets with a group of strangers? Surely I’m not the only one who enjoys talking to people I hardly know and actually feel better after doing so…
Maybe you relate more to this cartoon:
What is group counseling anyway? Well, to be honest, sometimes it does mimic the cartoons. A group of people, sitting in a circle, hands clasped, deafening awkward silence; yep, your imagination is not leading you astray. Especially the first group therapy session, much of what keeps you at a distance actually does exist. But it doesn’t have to be and won’t always be like that.