Groups

The iCope service offer a range of group options. All of our groups are primarily based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and are designed at teaching participants’ tools and techniques to manage their symptoms more effectively.

Each group is facilitated by two-three of our practitioners. The groups vary in duration, size, and length which you can find out by visiting the individual group pages below.

Groups are a great alternative to one-to-one therapy sessions. They give participants the opportunity to learn a range of skills and learn from the experience of others. They are also an incredibly normalising experience and participants often comment on the comfortable environment we are able to create.

We currently offer these groups:

To find out when these groups run click here

What can I expect from a group session?

Groups are typically two-three hours long. All have a short comfort break in the middle. There are usually up to 10-20 people attending the session. Our sessions are facilitated by two to three members of staff.

How many people will there be?

You can expect between 10-20 other members of the group. You will all be asked to respect the same group rules and confidentiality.

Will I have to talk?

No, not if you don’t want to. Participation is encouraged to help you get the most out of the session but we keep the discussions based on the topic rather than personal experience. You will never be put on the spot to contribute and if you do not wish to take part in group discussions that is ok and you will not be forced to contribute.

Do I need to attend every group session?

Yes. Our group sessions are designed to follow on from each other and closely replicate what you would cover in one-to-one sessions. Just like a course of antibiotics, the group is most effective when attended regularly. You wouldn’t expect an antibiotic to work if you only took the first and last tablet and therapy is no different. If you miss more than two sessions of a group we will ask you to attend another one where you are able to make a regular commitment.

What if I see someone I know?

This is a common question but it rarely happens. If you are ever uncomfortable in a group you can always ask to attend the next one. However there may be positives in seeing someone you know at a session. It may be that you both hadn’t been open about your difficulties before but could now be a support for each other.

Is there anything else I should know?

Most people feel anxious about attending a group session and you will not be alone. However everyone there wants you to feel comfortable and learn how to improve your wellbeing. We often find that people stay in touch with other group members and provide an invaluable support to one another.

Patient experience story

Hello!

 Thank you for taking the time to read this, I hope you find this helpful.

 I am a Peer Well-Being Worker, but a few years ago I was a service user at Icope. My role is to bridge the gap between clinicians and services users, providing you with information as an expert in my experience of mental health difficulties, such as anxiety, low mood/ depression and providing you with tips and tools for using certain techniques in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

 When I approached the service, I was suffering with anxiety, stress and I felt low and depressed. I found it scary attending the group because I felt I was the only one suffering from these symptoms. If I am honest, I thought there was something wrong with me and nobody else felt this way. When I started attending the group, I soon realised, how common my symptoms were and meeting people who were suffering from similar problems really normalised my difficulties.

 Using the tools, which you will learn, has not only made me feel better but has helped me deal with life in a more constructive way, built up my resilience and face obstacles I never believed I could face.

I can’t say it was easy to start with and I really had to give myself a push to get into the swing of things. I felt overwhelmed and I struggled. Nevertheless, with persistence I began to feel rapid results and I must say CBT is a powerful process.  I still need to use CBT from time to time especially in times of high stressors or need, but now it’s not something I need to use a lot of.

I accept everybody is different and everybody has a different story including different recovery times and rates, but from my experience CBT, is a very powerful tool that helped me immensely through my recovery.

 A little word of encouragement,

 “If it’s hard at first it becomes easier and practice makes it easier.”

 I have some tips if you are interested…

 Keep it up,

Attend as much as you can,

Complete the home tasks,

Seek help,

Ask questions,

Find the tools that work for you and keep note of them, somewhere that is easily accessible.

 

I saw light at the end of the tunnel, I believe you can to!