Thanks for starting this thread. I too found the information on groups useful. I have no experience with running an EPI focused group, however can draw on my experience running a Youth Day Treatment group to speak to the value of the connectedness between participants. Reflecting on the importance of keeping groups to providing support to individuals within a same developmental stage, I think this decreases triggers and risks around power differential; someone at 19 may be very different in needs to someone at 27. I also have experienced the power of clients forming healthy connections that are able to transition from the group setting to everyday life and how this continuity may provide a unique sense of belonging and friendship. I think these relationships may form organically within the larger group. Group also invites individuals to try out different roles within the group such as supporter or even leadership in a safe environment with support to develop these new skills.
I think that the organic outcomes from group even within the confines of a specific purpose can often support client growth in ways that a more formal relationship may not be able to foster.