I started with this therapy group at its inception at the beginning of last August. Five of us, plus two psychotherapists met together for several months before we ultimately ended up with eight patients and two therapists. My group has been a great place for me and has been a great experience.
This past Wednesday, though, I left feeling quite sad. One of our members has reached a point where he feels like he is ready to leave the group. Others in the group were being all, like, “That’s great you’re ready to leave and you’re taking care of yourself.” “Hey, if you can do it, maybe I can, too.”
But I was feeling sad about him leaving. His contributions to the group have been huge. He has a wonderful way of distilling down what you’ve said into the basic issues and I have found his questions and comments to be very helpful to me over the months. As well as the impact he has had on me personally, I know that he and I are the ones who do the most talking in group, and I believe I may have started feeling that I CAN’T leave the group yet, regardless of whether or not I have reached my original goals.
Our other members are still in varying degrees of deep brokenness — the kind where they feel inadequate, unworthy, and unlovable. I feel like I have made huge progress i this group. You know what? I bet the others feel like they have as well. I guess what I am dealing with is feeling some responsibility to my group members, to stay and offer what I can. But what if it is time for me to move on? The very fact that it is so hard for me to make this decision makes me think I probably still have some work to do!
The truth is that sometimes I feel like a junior facilitator in our group. I see the facilitators affirming what I am saying, and building on what I have said. But the truth is that our facilitators are very good at what they do, and I don’t think they really need me to make the group work. Such a challenge to find that balance between embracing the truth of making a valuable contribution, and realizing that I’m a work in progress just like everyone else in the group.
I love the people in my group. We have no contact outside the group, in order to make the group environment as safe as possible, so I don’t think I will see any of these people after they or I leave the group.
For now, I know I still have issues that I can work on in group. So, for the time being, I will keep making my way to the office on Wednesday at 5:30.