Whether you’re aiming for a career in psychology or considering attending psychotherapy to overcome life’s challenges, it’s important to be aware of the numerous benefits of group therapy.
Group therapy is one of the most effective therapeutic techniques for treating a number of psychological struggles people experience, including depression, anxiety, anger, and grief. Therapeutic groups usually consist of five to 15 people who reveal their interior lives to others under the direction of a group therapist. Participants typically commit to attending weekly group sessions for an hour to two hours each. In addition to the financial benefits of considerably less fees than individual therapy, the following are the top advantages for clients participating in group therapy.
Sharing Can Be Healing
In a group setting, clients are encouraged to reveal their innermost thoughts, feelings, and struggles with other group members. Since every member must agree to keep each others’ names and personal information confidential from the outside world, participants should feel comfortable sharing themselves in the warm, supportive environment. As other group members share their emotions about coping with similar difficulties, many people realize that they are not alone in their struggles and validate what they’re going through. Hearing from other people provides a wider range of perspectives to the same situation too, which can help them deal with their own problems more effectively.
One of the best aspects of group therapy is its ability to create a close-knit community of members coping with similar problems in a non-judgmental setting. Finding support from others is a major factor in helping people overcome the negative effects of mental health issues. All group members are given the chance to develop trusting, healthy relationships with other people. Many group therapists also encourage members to call on others when they need support most outside of sessions as mentoring. For many group therapy participants, providing help to others can build their self-confidence and belief in their abilities in coping with their own symptoms. People often push themselves harder when they see other members successfully overcoming their fears or struggles too.
Building Social Skills
Groups are helpful for easing clients’ sense of isolation in the world by giving the opportunity to practice engaging with others. Even if social skills are not the focus of the group sessions, they are by default gained by interacting with other group members. Participants are taught how to communicate their feelings more clearly and open up about their difficulties in a group context. Since every member won’t have time to share each session, group therapy also provides the chance for clients to acquire strong listening skills and craft good questions. Some group therapists may have participants try out new behaviors, role play with others, and model healthy social skills.
Unlike individual psychotherapy that focuses on helping clients improve through interventions from a therapist, group therapy allows participants to observe others in the group, receive valuable feedback, and benefit from social interactions. Group therapy has the major goal of helping individuals transcend their mental health struggles through experiencing their common humanness with others fighting the same battles. Benefits of group therapy are virtually endless by cultivating a community of trust, compassion, respect, and honesty in which participants can grow.
See also: Surprising Alternative Treatments for Mental Disorders (Infographic)