Group Therapy

Often grief can feel like a tangled web of emotions. We can become overwhelmed with sorrow and pain after the death of someone we love. Grief can make us feel very alone as we try to navigate through our new landscape of feelings. The Center for Grief Recovery and Therapeutic Services has been supporting bereaved individuals for over 30 years. Our therapeutic grief group provides a save haven for grievers to mourn together through mutual understanding while learning effective coping skills. What makes our group unique is that it is led by a licensed therapist and is focused on the therapeutic aspect and not just a support group. In addition, the interview process helps to create a safe environment for all members.

Healing Our Losses Group

This group is for anyone going through grief and has experienced the death of a loved one. Members commit to six hour and half sessions. This is a profound experience that helps to enter the pain of a loss and through the process of healing. Members learn about the grief process and come to understand their own unique experiences. This group offers a chance to begin to heal from a loss and learn and grow and reshape the self.  Past members have said:

I can already see myself on the road to a happier place, but also learning to embrace my grief. I don’t feel like I’m alone.” 

“It’s been excellent – life giving and rich. It’s been consoling and challenging in an encouraging way. I will never forget this experience, I am so grateful. Thank you.”

 “I have much gratitude for the forum and safe space provided these past few weeks.”

“I like how small and intimate the group was.”

“This group exceeded my expectations.”

A group begins once there is sufficient registration. If you are interested in potentially participating, we ask you to schedule a one-on-one intake appointment with our group therapist, Joe Byrne. This helps ensure that the group will meet your expectations and therapeutic needs. You would then be invited to participate in the next group once it is ready to start. Please contact, Joe Byrne, M.Ed., Psy.D at 847.644.1210 or email jwbyrne.psy.d@gmail.com. for an intake. More questions? Read the Healing Our Losses Group FAQ.

Not sure if group therapy is right for you? Read more on the benefits of individual therapy vs. group therapy.

Conditions for Successful Group Therapy

Regardless of the specific kind of group, the objectives of our group experiences include sharing our feelings and exposing our sensitivities and vulnerabilities. No true learning takes place without some degree of emotional risk. However, it is important to create an environment, which minimizes the risks and maximizes the potential for growth. Because we are attempting to promote growth and healing, we ask that all participants agree to conditions, which will enhance our sense of security and trust.

1. Confidentiality

Group members respect others’ right to confidentiality. Thoughts, feelings and experiences shared in the group are not made public. Members may process events, ideas and feelings with others outside the group, however confidentiality demands that any discussions outside the group be done in such a way that no member can be identified.

2. Respect for Self

Group members must make their own decision about how much personal information to share, what activities they will take part in and how deeply they will involve themselves with others. It is crucial that members respect their limits and maintain themselves comfortably throughout the group process.

3. Respect for Others

Group members are allowed equal time to speak; no one should monopolize the discussion, depreciate the efforts of other members, or in any way harm the fabric of trust and warmth that will allow us to proceed. We will work towards an environment that encourages each person to participate in his or her own unique way.

4. No Drugs or Alcohol

Group members should avoid taking any drugs or alcohol prior to, during and immediately after the group experience.

5. Role of Group Leader(s)

The leader will maintain control of group interactions. They may encourage or discourage each member from opening up feelings or issues based on individual needs and group needs. If members have questions about what is or isn’t appropriate, they should ask.

6. Feelings

Feelings should be expressed and examined. It is okay to let feelings out. Know it is okay to be happy, sad, angry and frustrated. However it is no okay to express feelings in ways that are harmful to yourself or others. We make a distinction between expression of feelings and the way in which these feelings are expressed.

7. Non-Sectarian

Each of the staff and members are free to maintain their own belief system in regard to religious affiliation. All activities are based on our views about human development and learning processes. No religious point of view or activities will be introduced.  

These few conditions for successful group therapy will be applied to each type of group counseling.