November 15, 2013

Me, my therapist and the Group...

What it means to suffer (from a disease) and then become alright? Can it happen, that the sufferer becomes alright but the therapist still considers her/him sick? If the views diverge, whose view should be given precedence- therapist's view or the sufferer's view? What does it mean to be healthy? whole? absence of all bacteria, all virus, all problems, all issues?

As a doctor and as a pws, I have often wondered about these questions. Over the years, I have understood the role, the big role, played by a third party- the others. The group, of which both the sufferer and the therapist may be just a part. Students of "systems theory" will have no problem with this claim, of course.

The group plays a part both in "causing" the problem and also in its eventual resolution. Why? because, we are "social animals". Our thoughts, values, perception and even behavior is constantly shaped by "others". I have seen this again and again- in SHGs, CommWS, NCs etc. etc.

How does "group" shape our feelings and help us come out of "dysfunctional" feelings and experiences? A group of psychologists has worked on "social therapy" as an alternative to mainstream clinical therapy. Here is how they explain it:
Social therapy is a particular kind of group therapy. People who are in emotional pain, experiencing relationship or family issues, or just feeling stuck in their lives join a community, in the form of a social therapy group. The group — people of varied backgrounds, histories and ages — shares responsibility for creating an environment in which everyone can get help.

One of the powerful discoveries of social therapy is that while we all experience pain as individuals, we get better — we grow and develop emotionally — with others. While traditional therapies (even group therapies) typically focus on the individual (the “self”), social therapy focuses on the group, on being with others — “in the world” — since, in fact, that is where we are.
 If you are running a SHG, you may benefit by reading more about socila therapy on web, including this link:
http://www.socialtherapygroup.com/about_social_therapy/testimonials.html
http://www.socialtherapygroup.com/lacervablog.html

Happy exploring!

4 comments:

Manimaran said...

Thanks a lot Sachin for introducing "Social therapy". This is the 1st time I come across this kind of name though I benefited mostly from "Social Therapy" without understanding the meaning of it. You are having very amazing insight.

sachin said...

Thanks Mani! I am learning every day something interesting on Internet! Why did we not have it 50 years ago?!!

Manimaran said...

If Internet was there 50 years ago, we might be understood stammering better and lived happily but could not formed TISA and could not got this opportunity to help young PWS. Everything are the wishes of God.

sachin said...

Yes.. everything seems to have turned out well...