Group therapy is another form of psychotherapy that involves one or more therapist working with several people at the same time. A group can run with as little as three people and one therapist or as many as 15 plus people and two therapists. Group therapy session are often topical in nature in that group members typically are all dealing with the same concern. For example: a depression or anxiety group. Group therapy is common in multiple settings like universities, hospitals, community centers and private practice. I love facilitating groups because they provide elements that individual counseling cannot.
Group Therapy Benefits
What Group therapy provides that individual therapy cannot.
- Universality: Being part of a group of people who have the same experiences helps people see that what they are going through is universal and that they are not alone.
- Altruism: Group members can share their strengths and help others in the group, which can boost self-esteem and confidence.
- Interpersonal learning: By interacting with other people and receiving feedback from the group and the therapist, members of the group can gain a greater understanding of themselves
- Development of socialization techniques: The group setting is a great place to practice new behaviors. The setting is safe and supportive, allowing group members to experiment without the fear of failure.
- Catharsis: Sharing feelings and experiences with a group of people can help relieve pain, guilt, or stress.
- Imparting information: Group members can help each other by sharing information.
- The corrective recapitulation of the primary family group: The therapy group is much like a family in some ways. Within the group, each member can explore how childhood experiences contributed to personality and behaviors. They can also learn to avoid behaviors that are destructive or unhelpful in real life.
- Group cohesiveness: Because the group is united in a common goal, members gain a sense of belonging and acceptance.
- Existential factors: While working within a group offers support and guidance, group therapy helps member realize that they are responsible for their own lives, actions, and choices.
There are two main types of groups: Process Groups and Skills Groups.
Process Groups: focus on processing emotions in the present moment and allow more space for individuals to share their story in a freeform structure.
Skills Groups: are topical and geared toward learning more about a diagnosis or distress in order to apply skills and reduce symptoms.
To participate in any of my groups, a group screening is required. This screening allows me to assess your clinical fit for group and help you in identifying initial goals as well as how to utilize group to get the most benefit out of your participation.