SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Group counseling and systemic interventions can be more effective with LGBT people, grief experts say.
In a new book called “Group Counseling With LGBTQI Persons,” Kristopher Goodrich, a licensed mental health counselor, and Melissa Luke, coordinator of school counseling at Syracuse University, noticed over a decade of working on several mental health projects, gaps in the ways group counseling work can help meet the needs of LGBT people.
“A group dynamic can be a powerful setting that induces growth and change for clients,” they said in a press release for the book. “Group work is distinctive in its ability to offer an in vivo space to explore, develop and try out new ways of being with and relating to others in a therapeutic setting. It allows for the individual to learn they are not isolated or alone, and the presenting concerns they may have can be identified and felt by others. In addition, it allows the individual to role-play and practice new ways of interacting with others, as well as practice revealing additional aspects of themselves with feedback from others.”
Group counseling helps LGBT people learn they are not isolated, gives opportunities for role play and practice interacting with others and getting feedback.
“Pulling from ecological counseling theory, we know that systemic interventions can be extremely powerful and, in many ways, more influential for long-term change processes,” the authors said in an interview with Counseling Today.