STORY SCRAPS — Group Therapy

Published February 23, 2018 by Nan Mykel

For the first time Rob was fighting tears. He motioned to Amber, on his right. Mesmerized by Rob’s sharing, Amber surfaced and said, “Uh…”  The group sat quiet, expectantly, and watched empathically as her tears began to trickle. Jackie said gently, “Take your time, there’s no rush.”

Amber could feel the intensity  of everyone’s eyes focused on her, even Rob’s. She looked down into her lap and spoke softly. “I’m a new student and live alone in a single freshman dorm room, and my little sister died several years ago. My father was an alcoholic so my aunt Betty took me in for a couple of years. I’m a social work major at the  college.”

Ed nodded. “And what do you want from the group?”

She took a deep breath and said, “I’m afraid of men. I mean I hate them all! All they’re interested in is sex!  They just see me as a sex object!” Her voice sounded strangled now. “I hate everybody! I hate my mother and my father and me and–everybody!” Rob put his hand on her shoulder and gave a squeeze, whereupon Amber began emitting little choking sobs.  The group sat and stared at her, speechless, for once. Jackie passed her the Kleenex. There was still silence, as though no one knew what to say. Another covered her face with her hands.

Finally Ed spoke. “So that means you hate me and Pete and Stuart and Rob?  You don’t even know us. Somehow that doesn’t seem fair.  Is that something you want t work on?”

A little laugh escaped from Amber. “I don’t know. I think that’s reality. That’s the way the world is! Maybe nothing can help.” She was quiet, and so was the attentive grop. Finally she spoke in a small voice. “And I hate myself, too.”

Ed glanced around the grop. “How many people in heere hae themselves?” There was a mmentary shocked silence and then slowly four hands went up, even Rob’s. Ed regarded the the raised hands and said, “Do you wantg those who hate themselves to hate you, too? Will that make you feel better?”

Amber protested, but in a lighter vein. “You’re confusing me!”  She let out a deep sigh and said, “My life is such a mess!”

Ed looked around the group again. “How many members’ lives are a mess?” When everyone raised their hands Amber had to laugh. “All right, I guess I’ll live.”  She blew her nose loudly and the group moved  on to other issues.

Nether Amber nor Rob had experienced group psychotherapy before, and observed with interest the variety of therapeutic techniques used in the group. As they were to learn  later, some were Gestalt, some psychomotor, some Rational Emotive–whatever seemed to fit. After the deepest, most emotive exchanges, the group’s comaraderie and commitment remained.

As the session ended, someoone said, “Group hug,” and there was one. Someone else explained that the group often eats dinner together at the nearby steakhouse. Amber and Rob accepted with enthusiasm, welcoming the warm friendliness of the group.

There was no talk of therapy during the dinner. Amber noticed no one ordered beer with their meal, and from the  jokes and talk of current events you’d never guess they all felt their lives were a mess. She began to feel right at home with these people, especially Rob.


Please share your own experiences here...

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

You are commenting using your 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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Mock Paper Scissors

The Internet's Band of Incorrigible Spitballers® and Cult Failure Since 2006

Pacific Paratrooper

This site is Pacific War era information

Edge of Humanity Magazine

An Independent Non-Discriminatory Platform With No Religious, Political, Financial, or Social Affiliations

K E Garland

Inspirational kwotes, stories and images

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

Art and Literature Beyond Borders

Thar She Blows!

Can You Feel It?

Darcy Hitchcock

Envision a sustainable future

Barbara Crane Navarro

Rainforest Art Project - Pas de Cartier !

Kate Lunsford

Reflective Writing

Rosamond Press

A Newspaper for the Arts

Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

Second Look Behind the Headlines - News you can use...

Aging Capriciously

Divergent Thoughts on Life, Love and Death

Some View on the World

With previous posting of "Our World" on Blogger

Filosofa's Word

Cogito Ergo Sum

Trent's World (the Blog)

Random Ramblings and Reviews from Trent P. McDonald

Catxman's Cradle

Catxman dances, Catxman spins around, leaps ....... // I sing a song, a song of hope, a song of looove -- a song of burning roses. / Synthesizer notes. // (c) 2021-22

Mapping uncertainty

When nothing is certain anything is possible

%d bloggers like this: