Group Therapy is a form of therapy that involves one or more therapists working with several people at the same time. Group therapy may be used alone, but is often integrated into a comprehensive treatment plan that includes Individual Therapy.
How does Group Therapy work?
Bolton Therapy & Wellness Group Therapy takes place in a comfortable setting, a room where chairs and sofas are arranged so that participants can see and engage with each other. Groups can be as small as three or four people, but tend to involve around seven to twelve individuals. Groups may meet at scheduled intervals, such as weekly or monthly, or one time, such as a day long or weekend meeting.
A session might begin with members of the group introducing themselves and sharing why they are in group therapy. Members might also share their experiences and progress since the last meeting. The precise manner in which the session is conducted depends largely on the goals of the group and the style the therapist has chosen for the particular group. The therapist might encourage a more free-form style of dialogue, where each member participates as he or she sees fit. Alternatively, the therapist may have a specific plan for each session that might include having clients practice new skills with other members of the group.
How can Group Therapy be uniquely helpful?
Group Therapy can be uniquely helpful in ways that are different from Individual Therapy, including:
- helping clients understand that other people have the same experiences, what they're going through is not weird and they are not alone
- clients can learn from each other
- clients can help each other and benefit from the experience of helping and being helped
- clients can motivate each other
- clients can develop and improve socialization techniques
- clients can gain a sense of belonging and acceptance
- sharing experiences with others can be cathartic, alleviating pain, guilt and stress
- clients can practice behaviors and actions within the safety and security of a group of similar situated people
- the therapist can see first-hand how clients respond to other people and behave in social situations
What types of issues can clients address in Group Therapy?
Clients can address an array of issues in Group Therapy, including but not limited to:
- emotional and mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression
- relationship issues, such as intimacy or infidelity
- family issues, such as caring for a child with behavioral challenges or co-parenting
- bullying or harassment
- work-related issues
- LGBTQ issues
- domestic violence
- trauma, such as past or current emotional, physical or sexual abuse
- unique issues impacting members of a particular identity group, such as women, men, youth in high school or a particular ethnic, cultural or religious group
Cherry, K. (November 25, 2018). An overview of group therapy. https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-group-therapy-2795760 (additional references cited in article).