Group psychotherapy is a form of therapy in which a small number of people generally meet weekly under the leadership of a trained therapist to help themselves and one another. In group therapy people learn about themselves and improve their interpersonal relationships.
Group Therapy Sessions:Immediate Access | Cognitive Behavior: Anxiety | Depression | Dialectical Behavior | Skills-Practice | Cognitive Behavior: Bulimia | Medical Illness | OCD Cognitive Behavior Maintenance
Groups are listed according to types, days and times. If you are interested in any of these groups, please call the Psychiatry Access Line at 617-724-7792 and express your interest in the group program. You will be scheduled for an intake with one of our psychologists who will help assign you to an appropriate group. You must have a PCP or psychiatrist at MGH in order to participate in the group program.
If you do not see groups on this page that address the issues you would like to work through, please also look at MGH's social work department's listing of psychotherapy groups at http://www.mghsocialwork.org/support-groups.html. You can also go to http://www.dbsaboston.org/index.html to look at the groups that the Manic-Depressive and Depressive Association offers at MGH.
Immediate Access Group:
This 16-week rolling admission group is for patients who are new to the clinic. The group can function as: 1. A place to work on the problems that brought the patient into treatment while they are waiting for an appointment for a more specialized recommended treatment; 2. A place for a patient to further define what their treatment goals are so that they can decide what treatment they would like to pursue after group is over; 3. A place to deal with an immediate crisis, with the possibility of reenrollment for one more 16 week session, with the goal being to end treatment after group is over. Exclusion criteria are severe suicidal behaviors, severe psychotic symptoms, disruptive behaviors, and serious substance abuse.
This group is offered on Tuesdays from 11:45am to 12:45pm.
General Psychodynamic/Interpersonal Process Groups:
Psychodynamic/Interpersonal groups are unstructured and process-oriented. They are useful for individuals who are looking for a setting in which to talk about difficult life experiences and feelings in a safe and confidential environment and to get support from others. These groups also act as a microcosm of the larger world and are a place where members can try out new, more functional ways of interacting with others and get feedback about how other people view them interpersonally.
Groups generally consist of a maximum of 8 people who have made a commitment to the group for at least 6 months. New members can join at any time (if space allows).
Currently there are 7 psychodynamic groups offered at MGH. Three groups are offered in the evening (Tuesdays at 5pm (2 groups) and Wednesdays at 6pm) and 4 are offered during the day (Mondays mornings at 8:45, 10, and 10:30AM and Thursdays at 4PM).
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Group for Anxiety
This 12-week skills-based outpatient therapy group is ideal for women and men aged 18 and older who are seeking to learn new skills to cope with anxiety. The group will be appropriate for individuals who are diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder or a Specific Phobia. The group is not designed to address symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or Axis II disorders. The group is also not designed to offer adequate support for pts with a co-morbid major depressive disorder and /or recent hospitalization unless mood is stable and patient is actively involved in adjunctive individual psychotherapy. The group may not be appropriate to provide adequate support for patients with co-morbid ADHD and/or Learning Disabilities.
The group will consist of 2 six week modules. The first module is designed to provide psychoeducation and cognitive techniques to manage anxiety. The second module is designed to focus on behavioral change strategies that will include opportunities to practice relaxation techniques and exposure to feared situations. Patients can enter the group at the beginning of either module and are expected to continue until they have completed both modules.
This group is offered on Mondays from 12:15-1:30 PM.
Problem-Solving Treatment for Depression:
This 10-week skills-based outpatient therapy group is intended for adults who currently have major depression. Problem-solving treatment is a brief psychological intervention that treats depression by teaching people how to systematically solve their psychosocial problems. The central idea is that enhancing problem-solving skills and attitudes and working to solve problems in one's life can reduce depression. Please note that the group is designed for those who have major depression as their primary diagnosis and is not designed to offer adequate support for those with severe depression and/or recent hospitalization unless the person is also engaged in individual psychotherapy.
This group is offered on Wednesdays at 5:45 pm.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Structured skills-based therapy designed specifically for patients with borderline personality disorder. Group requirements include weekly individual psychotherapy and a clear ongoing commitment to consistent attendance.
Groups are offered on Fridays from 12-1:45, 1-2:45, and 3-4:45 PM.
Skills-Practice Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Structured skills-based therapy designed specifically for patients with borderline personality disorder who have completed previous skills training. This group is designed to assist patients in their utilization and generalization of DBT skills and principles. Group requirements include individual psychotherapy and a clear ongoing commitment to practicing skills.
This group is offered Monday afternoons at 4pm.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Bulimia Nervosa
This 12-week skills-based group is appropriate for women aged 18 and older who seek therapist and peer support in reducing bingeing and purging behaviors. Key components include marshaling motivation for change, identifying binge triggers, enhancing body image, and preventing relapse.
This group is offered Wednesdays at 5:00pm.
Medical Illness Group
This group is for adults whose lives are limited by significant chronic medical conditions and psychiatric difficulties (typically depression/anxiety). Many group members also have poor family relationships and are struggling with social isolation. Group members are encouraged to find ways to maintain self-care and enjoy life despite physical and emotional limitations.
This group is offered on Mondays from 2-3:15pm.
OCD Spectrum Disorders Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Maintenance Group
This 10-week skills-based group is appropriate for patients who have already had successful individual Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Trichotillomania, or Compulsive Skin Picking (meaning symptoms may still exist but are mild). Group members are encouraged to use their skills in order to maintain their progress as they transition out of individual therapy. They receive support from other members to achieve this goal and also aid each other in completing exposures during group sessions.
This group is offered every other Friday from 3:45-5pm.
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