A Therapist’s Journey To Healing: How Group Therapy Can Change Your Life For The Better
Written by BrightMind Therapist, Director of Group Therapy, Trishala Khandheria, M.A., Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. #139626
I wish I could connect them with so-and-so who shares their experience. I think to myself as I withhold uttering “I understand” or “I know how hard this must be for you.”
My father passed away on February 13th, 2023. I was flooded with a number of intense emotions such as envy and resentment, and I suffered in silence questioning whether it was normal to experience these feelings in response to loss. I isolated, thinking no one would be able to relate to my emotional experience or understand what it’s like to lose their dad at 30-years-old right before their wedding. It wasn’t until months later that I noticed a young bride post in a wedding project group on Facebook about how she recently lost her father. This encouraged me to be vulnerable and take a step towards healing by connecting with others who have also experienced the loss of a parent at a young age.
“I experience that same feeling every time I am with friends who still have both their parents. It’s normal to feel that way.”
“I also ask myself, what’s the point?”
These are a few of the responses that I received when I shared my feelings with people who are dealing with same or similar grief. This common understanding of a tragic experience made any judgement a lot less likely, alleviating my guilt and shame. I was relieved to know that I was not alone. I got past my initial reluctance to open up to others, and the benefits were very rewarding.
If you’re on the fence about talking to others or participating in group therapy reflect on the following questions for yourself:
Do you feel alone in your struggles?
Do you feel like sometimes people just don’t get it?
Do you love your therapist, but wish you could talk to someone who is your age, in your generation, or who struggles with same or similar things you struggle with?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, I urge you to be brave and take yet another step towards healing by engaging in group therapy.
Personal and professional experiences have taught me that peer support is invaluable and I can confidently say that joining a support group provides a safe space, gives you a voice, offers a sounding board, and helps you realize that you’re not alone.
In Hellen Keller’s words, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”