Updated: May 3, 2019
In our previous video, we discussed the benefits of individual therapy. Today, we’ll discuss another type of therapy that can be as equally effective, if not more effective for some, as individual therapy - group therapy!
Group counseling can be powerful, effective, and an affordable type of therapy. It is widely used and has been a standard treatment option for over half a century! It can improve your interpersonal relationships, be it marriage, family, co-workers, or friends. Groups can be formed to work with children, adolescents, and diverse populations of adults. Groups for children and adolescents may be internal or external to the school setting and may address topics such as improving impulse control and how to foster positive peer relationships. With adults, groups can help deal with transitions relevant to their needs, such as adjusting to marriage, parenthood, or career development.
Before joining a group, the therapist facilitating the group will complete a screening process to assess each person’s readiness to be in a group and their goals. If you’re given the green light to join, get ready for an engaging and dynamic experience.
Here are 5 benefits of going to group therapy.
1) Groups can give and receive support
Hearing from others with similar issues helps you see that you’re not alone in having challenges. Many people experience a sense of relief in knowing there are other people in their community that experience the same issues and concerns as them.
One misconception about group therapy is that members take turns receiving individual therapy from the therapist while others observe. However, group members are actually encouraged to turn to each other for support, feedback and connection, instead of getting all of that from the clinician. Group therapy can offer inspiration, encouragement, and hope from the members.
2) Group may have a different financial investment than individual therapy
The financial investment for individual therapy varies between therapists and may become costly depending on the length of time you’re in therapy. Most groups are in place for a finite duration of time, such as 4 to 8 weeks, and have a set price that is considerably less than individual sessions. Don’t let the lower cost be the only factor that influences your decision. Speak with the group facilitator to verify if their group will address your needs and more importantly, if it’s the best “fit” for you on your path to healing.
3) Group therapy helps you find your “voice”
Some people may be hesitant to go to individual therapy because they find it challenging to sit one on one with a therapist and open up about their issues. They may feel more comfortable with other people in the room who are like-minded and can provide support.
Some people may not be aware of how they are feeling, especially when they are interacting with others. Group therapy can help them become aware of their feelings and needs and how to appropriately express them. You can become more self-aware, which can help you to take a more active and vocal stance in your progress.
4) Groups provide a sounding board
Groups require participation from all members. By speaking about your concerns, you’ll receive feedback from the other group members and therapeutic guidance from the clinician. Hearing from other people about how you addressed a situation can be very powerful. You get a wider range of perspectives on your situation, and that can help you deal with your problems better. No one in the room is an expert on “you”, but everyone can share their thoughts and ideas, which can contribute to your growth.
5) Group therapy helps you relate to others (and yourself) in healthier ways
Often people don’t understand why their relationships aren’t working. In the safe atmosphere of group therapy, members can get honest and empathetic feedback from others who have experienced the same or similar concerns. Groups not only help to ease the sense of isolation in the long run, but they can also provide the opportunity for you to see how you relate to others in the moment, and how you relate to yourself.
Groups are a natural way for people to communicate and interrelate with one another. Over time, the members of groups not only become more concerned with one another, but they also have a positive influence on each other. There is great power in groups and it’s a type of therapy that’s worth considering while on your path to wellness.