Suffering from psychological problems can be a very lonely experience.  Sometimes people find it helpful to join a therapeutic group to share and explore their experiences with others while gaining therapeutic benefit.

Our experienced psychotherapist Adrian Roberts facilitates Stones find balance on the sandcourses of psychotherapeutic group sessions called Circles of Compassion.  This group is open to people with a wide range of psychological problems and may be helpful for you as a starter to get a sense of what self-exploration and therapy is like if you have never experienced therapy before. Equally, it could be of value alongside your current course of psychotherapy to further enhance its effect.

Adrian Roberts has many years’ experience of running group therapy programmes. Based on Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), the group integrates modern neuroscience with ideas from evolutionary psychology to help people become more self-compassionate and increase their self-awareness and resilience.  It is an excellent opportunity for people to access expert psychotherapy at a more affordable rate than one-to-one consultations.

Each course consists of six two-hour sessions at The Oxford Development Centre’s practice in Witney, Oxfordshire. Groups are limited to a maximum of six people and you will be asked to make a commitment to attend all six sessions, after which new members may join if there are vacancies.

Methods include:

  • Group discussion
  • Mini lectures by the facilitator
  • Working in pairs and threes with other group members
  • Imagery and visualisation exercises
  • Inter-session practice

Ground rules are discussed and agreed at the first group session in every course.

Topics for discussion and exploration include:

Mindfulness – which can help a person to become more aware of patterns of thoughts, behaviours and experiences

Understanding the role of thoughts, feelings, sensations and behaviour in emotional distress – we  help people to understand the interconnected elements of emotional distress by using the Cognitive Behavioural model.  Therapy based on this approach encourages clients to recognise how we have all developed a series of strategies to make us feel safe and happy and then to change those elements that are unhelpful in their daily lives and relationships.

Compassionate Mind Training (CMT) – recognises how criticism of self and others can undermine self-confidence and lead to distress and the avoidance of satisfying relationships and experiences.  CMT offers a way to be understanding, kind and non-judgmental to the self and others and to accept the imperfections of human experience.

How to Join a Group

If you are already seeing a therapist at The Oxford Development Centre, please discuss with them whether it might be helpful for you to attend the Circles of Compassion Group. If you are new to The Oxford Development Centre, please contact us to ask for a brief telephone consultation with the facilitator.  You may be asked to attend an assessment session at our centre which will be chargeable.