Interpersonal therapy groups are unstructured groups in that there is no formal agenda for each group meeting. The leader does not begin the session with a question and group discussions are not topical in nature.
Instead, members are asked at the beginning of each meeting (1) to mindfully pay attention to their thoughts, feelings, and reactions as they occur moment to moment as the group takes place and (2) to report on what they notice. While this seems very simple, people often have a difficult time with this task. Most of us are so accustomed to acting on our thoughts and feelings that we seldom slow down to notice what is going on “behind the scenes” in our minds. Nevertheless, what goes on in the back of our minds has an impact on how we interact in our everyday lives.
By paying attention to our thoughts, feelings, and reactions as they occur in group we begin to notice more clearly the emotional patterns and thoughts (the mental scripts) that guide our behavior but often occur at the edge of our awareness. We learn about the relational patterns we are prone to creating with others and why we create these patterns. This process helps develop greater flexibility in how we relate to ourselves and others, while deepening our empathy for others’ experiences.
Importantly, we develop the ability to experience and understand what is going on in our minds and bodies without immediately acting upon what we experience.
Through our experience in the group, we also come to understand that it is not only okay, but healthy, to experience the range of our emotions without having to respond automatically to what we feel. We become more able to notice our emotions without acting upon them. Over time we become free to choose how we respond in various situations, and this freedom helps us to create the outcomes we desire in relationships. We react (an unconscious process) less and respond (a conscious process) more.
Rama (Ray-ma) Gerig, LCSW, FSW, SEP is a graduate from University of Houston – Graduate College of Social Work. She comes to this profession with a great deal of life experience, and has spent most of her years helping others in some capacity. She believes in, and is devoted to, creating a safe and open space for clients to freely express themselves, and be curious about their thoughts, feelings, and challenges without judgment. Offering services that focus on healing the mind, body and spirit. She is passionate about assisting individuals who are seeking support to changing maladaptive behaviors to effective and positive coping skills.
Rama utilizes an eclectic approach that integrates several evidenced based interventions to help her client’s achieve their treatment goals. Areas of treatment include, Somatic Experience (SE), Mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Financial Behavioral Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and Strengths Based Therapy. The majority of Rama’s career has been working with young adults and professionals, ranging from trauma, addiction, general and social anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, personality disorders, and stage of life developmental issues, such as sudden changes in a family system, spiritual crises, financial crises, career changes, or relationship changes, to name a few.
Through Somatic Experience Practice (SE), Rama is trained as a trauma resolution specialist integrating SE with psychological principles of psychodynamic and attachment therapy, and somatic body work. SE is a intervention that helps clients move through various physical symptoms of historical and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). SE offers effective support and psychotherapy in sexual abuse, childhood trauma, automobile accidents, falls, high global impact, and other forms of trauma.