A new client in one of my social therapy groups recently shared a light-bulb moment. She said ‘oh this group is about dropping the pretext’. Yes! Here’s the backstory.
Group had a few new members recently join. We were discussing how group works and what is useful about group social therapy. The more experienced group members and I were talking on and on to orient the new members:
We are here to get messy
Share our shit so we can potentially build something new with it
Feel the camaraderie of ‘you are not alone’ / ‘we are all crazy in our own ways’
The world is crazy in many kinds of ways, so it’s useful to have a life development team to build emotional resilience
An astute new client thankfully interrupted at some point, and said ‘Oh, so you want us to drop the pretext.’ Wow, yes thank you. In one short sentence she captured what we work to do in therapy. Dropping all kinds of pretexts that keep us away from one another, and from ourselves, is therapeutic. Pretexts like:
I'm put together
I know what I'm doing
I’m smart all the time
I'm not vulnerable
It's all about me!
This is why I love new group members, they can come in and say the most nail-on-the-head things that help propel us forward together.
So, exercise of the week, for those who wish to partake: practice dropping the pretext you usually carry around when interacting with others. Tell someone when you’re scared, or that you are confused or need help with something or love someone you never told before.
Let me know how it goes.