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Group Therapy

November 28, 2017

 

If you're considering psychotherapy, several options are available. One of these options is Group Therapy. Depending on the nature of your concerns/difficulties, group therapy can be an ideal choice for addressing them and making positive changes in your life.

What To Expect?

Group therapy involves one or more psychologists who lead a group of roughly five to 12 members. Typically, groups meet for one to two hours each week. Some people attend individual therapy in addition to groups, while others participate in groups only.

Many groups are designed to target a specific problem, such as depression, obesity, panic disorder, social anxiety, chronic pain or substance abuse. Other groups focus more generally on personal development or the improvement of social skills.

Benefits of Group Therapy

Joining a group of strangers may sound intimidating at first, but group therapy provides benefits that individual therapy may not. Psychologists say, in fact, that group members are almost always surprised by how rewarding the group experience can be.

Groups can act as a support network and a sounding board. Other members of the group often help individuals come up with specific ideas for improving a difficult situation or life challenge, and hold you accountable along the way.

Regularly talking and listening to others also helps people put their own problems into a new perspective. Many people experience difficulties, but few speak openly about them to people they don't know well. Oftentimes, people may feel like they are the only one struggling — but they're not. It can be a relief to hear others discuss what they're going through, and realize that no one is alone.

Diversity is another important benefit of group therapy. People have different personalities and backgrounds, and they look at situations in different ways. By seeing how other people tackle problems and make positive changes, members discover a whole range of strategies for facing their own concerns.

Which format do the groups have? 

Open groups are those in which new members can join at any time. Closed groups are those in which all members begin the group at the same time. Small groups may offer more time to focus on each individual, but larger groups offer greater diversity and more perspectives. We can always discuss about which choice is better for you.

 

Is group therapy enough? 

Many people find it's helpful to participate in both group therapy and individual psychotherapy. Participating in both types of psychotherapy can boost your chances of making valuable, lasting changes. If you've been involved in individual psychotherapy and your progress has stalled, joining a group may jump-start your personal growth.

Confidentiality is an important part of the ground rules for group therapy. However, there can be no absolute guarantee of privacy when sharing with others, so use common sense when divulging personal information. That said, remember that you're not the only one sharing your personal story. Groups work best where there is open and honest communication between members.

Group members will start out as strangers, but in a short amount of time, you'll most likely view them as a valuable and trusted source of support.

 

Source and info: apa.org

 

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