The power of group therapy in video meetings
A few years ago, when Circles CEO Irad Eichler’s mother was battling cancer, he noticed that no matter how often friends and family surrounded her with support, she still felt lonely.
But then, there was a moment.
He saw her smiling and laughing while speaking to a friend on the phone who was also battling cancer. He recognized the power of connecting with someone in a similar situation, that the only people who can actually understand what you’re going through are the people who are going through it too.
In that moment, Irad witnessed what would later become known as a Circles.
Since 2020, Circles matches people going through the same situation and places them in small Circles of support facilitated by mental health professionals. For $20 a week, our members have weekly video meetings where they understand each other in a way that no one else can. We’ve matched thousands of people facing similar challenges and facilitated more than 100,000 hours of support.
As the saying goes, “there’s strength in numbers,” and group support has been proven, in study after study, to be more effective than individual therapy. Groups are a safe space for people to learn, share, and grow. When you see others opening up about what they’re experiencing, you realize that what you’re experiencing is completely normal. What you hear in others exists in you. You have concrete evidence right in front of you that you are not alone.
The power of the group is that members are intentionally looking out for each other. One of the best ways to make yourself feel better is to help someone else feel better. With everyone in the group acting by this philosophy, you’re completely safe to be you without fear of being judged.
These group dynamics are buoyed by the virtual tools we provide our facilitators. Our technology goes beyond typical video conferencing platforms such as Zoom or Google Hangouts by providing facilitators with additional features to foster group engagement.
Facilitators are equipped with each participant’s speaking time, tabulated in real-time, so they can ensure every participant has an opportunity to share their experience. They also have a virtual card game through which members receive a card with an emotion displayed, which engages them to dive deeper into their state.
Following each meeting, facilitators fill out a form that reflects on the content raised in the meeting, which generates automated personalized messages to their members and tracks their progress.
Additionally, in between each weekly video meeting, members can interact with both their group facilitator and their fellow members via their Circle group chat or direct messaging.
We’ve created Circles of support for people experiencing the loss of a loved one, parenting or divorce, stress or anxiety, depression, burnout, chronic pain, and LGBTQ+ issues, and we want to bring more support to the world at a time when we need it most.
Our product and technology make emotional support more accessible than ever before, and our flexibility and scalability allow our platform to be used in various settings and to cover a variety of topics.
We are currently a B2C company with B2B capabilities, and we’re looking forward to extending our support through wellness enrichment programs in companies, support groups for rehabilitation facilities, and more.
At Circles, we make emotional support accessible to anyone, anywhere and it’s as easy as simply opening our app. We are revolutionizing emotional support so no one has to overcome life’s challenges alone, and we are on our way to completely change the world for the better.
Circles is a revolutionary emotional support platform that ensures no one has to overcome life’s challenges alone. Circles enable people to be heard, understood, and supported by others who are going through the same issues in their lives, such as the loss of a loved one, parenting issues, or divorce. By connecting users in safe, intimate, and private groups led by professional facilitators, Circles helps people heal. Circles groups meet live for 60-minute video meetings and also have the ability to message via online chat at any time. Circles users can also access personalized content, including self-help exercises, blogs, and webinars, all at no extra cost. To learn more about Circles or to sign up for a free trial, visit https://circlesup.com/.