A group therapy program can supplement individual therapy during mental health treatment. To decide if group therapy is right for you, review the information below to learn more about group therapy and its benefits to those seeking mental health solutions.
What Is Group Therapy?
Group therapy falls under the category of psychotherapy and involves several people. One or more therapists lead group discussions in a safe environment designed to assist in various mental health disorders. Further, organizers hold these sessions in clinical settings or private venues accessible to those who wish to participate.
How a Group Therapy Program Works
The size of the group varies with the preference of the organizer or group members. Some groups have only three or four participants, while others include up to 12 people. Typically, group sessions meet regularly, say once or twice a week for about an hour.
There are many different ways to organize and perpetuate a group therapy program. Some are closed to new members while others welcome additions on an ongoing basis. New members often have the same mental health disorder and participate as part of their mental health treatment. Usually, members sit in a large circle to communicate effectively with each other and the therapist.
Five Reasons to Use Group Therapy in a Mental Health Program
Groups Move You Forward
Sharing success stories about how you overcome your fears can encourage others to persevere. At the same time, you may hear something inspiring from another member that helps you keep moving forward with your mental health treatment.
Develop Better Social Skills
Shy or introverted people often have difficulty relaying their feelings in one-on-one sessions with counselors. Attending group therapy can help you open up about your own experiences. As a bonus, you may also develop better social skills as you know the people in the group and begin to engage.
Improve Your Communication
Whenever you get more than one or two people in the same room, there are bound personality clashes. Often, group members must learn how to communicate effectively, so they don’t offend other participants or cause them to shut down.
Part of your mental health treatment involves discovering more about yourself and learning to express your feelings and emotions productively. Learning more about how your communication style impacts others can help you grow as a person and is something you can take with you outside of group therapy.
New skills picked up in group therapy may include the following:
- Setting boundaries
- Asserting your emotions
- Letting yourself feel vulnerable
- Increasing empathy
The facilitator encourages group members to have healthy conversations that help everyone move forward in their mental health treatment.
Find a Support Network
Those with mental health concerns often find life incredibly challenging. Through group therapy, you can find a supportive network that includes your therapist and those who attend. Instead of moving through your day weighed down by heavy feelings, open up in a group therapy program where you won’t be judged.
In group therapy, your mental health improves when you become more vulnerable and accept that you are in a safe space. You can find optimism and strength that furthers your work to re-establish your mental health.
Gain Access to Helpful Resources
In a group therapy program, you can expect to pick up new tools to cope with your mental health disorder. Group topics that may touch upon your specific mental health issues include the following:
- Meditation and mindfulness
- Trauma-based support
- Self-esteem exercises
- Journaling, artwork, and music therapy
- Relapse prevention tips
Any group therapy program tied to mental health treatment aims to empower participants to deal with their issues. You may not find a cure in group therapy, but you will develop skills that boost your confidence. Don’t feel that you have to do everything on your own. By opening up in group therapy, you can find real healing. Are you or is someone you love seeking treatment? Using the Addiction Treatment Needs Assessment tool on the Treatment Connection website, you can determine what type of treatment you or your loved one most likely needs.