Group Therapy

This blog entry was written by our guest blogger, Dafi Shlanger, MA. Dafi Shlanger, MA, is a registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern (IMF54831), supervised in Culver City by licensed therapist Doric George MA, MFT #MFC 38343. She is the author of, “Brain Surgeons Don’t Do Facelifts”. For more information, please visit

Please note that the opinions presented in the article are that of the author and not necessarily the opinions of RHN. RHN chooses to publish articles and share individual sites to evoke discussion and show all options, ideas and beliefs.

I was first introduced to group therapy some years back as a graduate psychology student. I remember stepping into my group meeting room with doubts and concerns. I was worried about what would be said, who will say what, how I’d be effected, and how I would benefit. In short, I worried about stepping into something unfamiliar, something out of my comfort zone and into the unknown.

Stepping into the unknown can be a scary experience for many of us. In many ways, groups reflect life; being in situations with people we don’t know and finding out new things about ourselves. Many of us have the tendency, the wish, and the need to know what tomorrow will bring for us. It comes out of our need to be in control because of our underlying fear.

It might not be easy to join a group, but I learned that being in a group can be very powerful. A group can give us the opportunity to practice many life skills in a supportive environment; developing effective communication by learning to express what we think and feel in a clear way. Trust in the ‘self’ increases as we practice those skills successfully. The group provides plenty of opportunities (just like life) to confront the things we are not very comfortable approaching. It challenges us, and once we overcome that challenge, we achieve emotional growth. Being in a group also teaches us that we are not alone, what happens to us might happen to others and vice versa. We get inspired from other people’s experiences and, we might be surprised to realize our own capacity to inspire others with our struggles and experiences. The group’s members reveal themselves through the process of discovery (again just like life), where they are able to express themselves in an environment of acceptance.

My interaction within the group experience had a very a positive impact on my life. I found meaningful friendships, a way to relate and connect to others, and a greater understanding of who I am; appreciating myself for what I am instead of what I am not.

Presently, I am a practicing psychotherapist, with many years of experience. Having been so thoroughly inspired by my group work, I decided to form a new group with a focus on women (and men); where they can be motivated, be supported, and get empowered in their relationships with themselves and others!

Elana Clark-Faler
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Group Therapy

RHN believes strongly in the healing powers of group therapy.  It has been proven to be highly effective and used for decades to help individuals gain insight and change behavior.  Attending group allows clients to learn and practice speaking honestly to one another.  Clients gain insight about themselves, and develop skills to change behavior.  Clients are able to increase self-mastery by practicing effective communication skills with other members while being faced with managing emotion. Group members are able to develop confidence and learn how to maintain meaningful relationships.  You’re able to do all this in a safe non-shaming community of individuals who have agreed to go on this mission with you, and you with them.

We have various groups available some process and others educational.  Our educational groups are time-limited and are focused on tools for recovery.  Sex and love addicts in early recovery are encouraged to enter these groups to reduce relapse.

Our process groups are not recovery focused groups.  Process groups explore attachment, intimacy and communication issues.  These groups help clients learn how to develop and improve their relationships.  All are welcome to request an entrance interview to identify what group is right for you.

Groups take place in our office.  There are gender specific groups and coed groups.  We welcome all sexual orientations, married, single, divorced and diverse ethnic backgrounds.  These groups are closed to the public and are for members only.  You’re expected to attend weekly, except for major holidays.  You are typically recommended to attend 3-6 individual session prior to entering group.

We invite clients who are interested in joining a group to schedule an initial assessment to determine the best fit.  An initial interview is 45 minutes and you will be charged the individual fee rate.

Process Groups
Do you continue to get into the same relationships over and over again?  Do you ask yourself, how did I get here?  Do you feel unclear about what to do to make a change?  This group will help you develop insight to understand the origins of your behavior and answer the question, why him or why her?  You will develop skills to change your repetitive behavior in a safe community of individuals who are looking to change their lives too.  You will learn to understand yourself and others.

Art Therapy Process Group
Whether you are a naturally creative person or haven’t tried drawing since you were a kid, an Art Therapy group might be right for you. Art Therapy involves a process of using creative visual expression to aid in developing deeper self-awareness and helps with communicating ideas and feelings you might have a hard time putting into words. In Art Therapy we do not necessarily focus on the finished product but instead engage in mindful use of different media, being present in the moment, and helping one another to find hope, face adversity, and achieve our goals.

Online Therapy
* High Speed Internet Connection Required
Elana Clark-Faler
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