Group therapy is a powerful tool that provides benefits and resources that you don’t always get in a one on one session. It can be especially constructive if you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, addiction, or co-occurring disorders. For example, if it seems anxiety-producing to share your feelings with a group. This might indicate that group therapy is right for you.
For those with anxiety, group therapy can be a form of exposure therapy; if you’re struggling with depression, groups can be a way to feel less alone; and for those with addictions, you’ll discover that you have a support system of other people dealing with the same things you are. If group therapy is a new or foreign concept, it may seem confusing or intimidating; but understanding group therapy isn’t difficult when you know the basics:
- Group therapy generally lasts one hour and meets once a week.
- The group consists of a handful of clients like yourself as well as a therapist like myself.
- You will join a group of people in a similar situation.
- My approach towards group therapy is through the use of CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy); where you’ll discover that our thoughts and beliefs play the biggest role in our behaviors.
- CBT is goal-oriented, so, in addition to talking through your problems, we’ll also do assignments, worksheets, etc. This will help us establish goals and determine how we can reach them best.
Becoming aware of the benefits will also help you in fully understanding group therapy:
Group therapy will help you feel less alone
When you encounter a tough time, it can be easy to feel like you’re lost and alone in your struggle. Group therapy will allow you to find comfort in the fact that this couldn’t be further from the truth. When you participate in a group, you can share thoughts and behaviors that aren’t necessarily understood by your friends and family members. You’ll join a community of like-minded people who are all trying to heal and recover together.
You may even find yourself looking forward to these weekly sessions. Understanding group therapy as an opportunity for growth (rather than a chore) can allow it to become an exciting and rewarding chapter of your life.
It’s therapeutic to offer and receive support
You may be on a similar journey as your fellow group members, but you’ll most likely be on a different leg of that journey. Some may have years of therapy under their belt, while others may be trying it for the first time. Sometimes it can be difficult to hear words of advice from strangers; but in group therapy, you’ll get to discuss your problems with people who have been in your shoes before.
You’ll also be given the opportunity to share any advice, tips, coping skills, etc. that have or have not worked for you. Group therapy gives you the opportunity to listen and contribute, which is helpful in increasing self-awareness. For instance, if you are participating in an addiction support group, you may hear another group member say aloud the same thoughts that you’ve been having. Hearing these words come from another person can help you see your struggles in a new light.
Group therapy will help you establish your voice
Anxiety, depression, addictions, and negative coping mechanisms often develop when we feel like we don’t have a voice; so in turn, our actions and behaviors eventually take the place of our voice. In group therapy, we can work together in re-establishing this voice. You will be given the chance to speak your mind without fear of judgment. You can take this practice and these tools and put them into place in real life situations.
While this is just a brief synopsis, active participation is best for fully understanding group therapy. Get in touch with us today to inquire about the groups we offer.