Group therapy can be an ideal choice for addressing your concerns and making positive changes in your life. In some cases, it is more effective than individual therapy, with a host of other benefits.
What is group therapy?
Group therapy consists of a session with a therapist who lead a group of roughly five to ten patients. Typically, groups meet for about an hour or two each week. Most people attend individual therapy in addition to groups.
Most groups are designed to target a specific problem, such as post-partum depression, obesity, social anxiety, chronic pain or substance abuse. Other groups focus more generally on improving social skills or fostering positive change in their lives, helping people deal with a range of issues such as anger, shyness, loneliness and low self-esteem. Groups often help those who have experienced grief and loss, whether it be a spouse, a child or someone who died by suicide.
Benefits of group therapy
Joining a group of strangers may sound intimidating at first, but group therapy provides benefits that individual therapy may not. Group members are often surprised by how rewarding the group experience can be.
It is often considerably less expensive than individual sessions and just as effective in most cases.
Groups can act as a support network and a sounding board. Other members of the group often help you 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 you put your own problems in perspective. Many people experience mental health difficulties, but few speak openly about them to people they don't know well. Oftentimes, you may feel like you are the only one struggling — but you're not. It can be a relief to hear others discuss what they're going through, and realize you're not 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, you can discover a whole range of strategies for facing your own concerns.
More than just a support group
While group members are a valuable source of support, formal group therapy sessions offer benefits beyond informal self-help and support groups. Group therapy sessions are led by licensed therapists with specialized training, who teach group members proven strategies for managing specific problems. If you're involved in an anger-management group, for instance, your therapist will describe scientifically tested strategies for controlling anger. That expert guidance can help you make the most of your group therapy experience.
People who are used to face-to-face therapy may be wondering if telehealth or telecounseling is an effective form of therapy. It is very effective. Both face-to-face and online therapy operate from the same guiding principle, so you can be sure to have the same level of service through the internet as you would in person.
There are actually many pros to online therapy. First, it is very convenient. You can get the help you need from the comfort of your own home. You can log into your session even if you have to travel out of town for work. You do not have to spend money on gas or fight traffic to get to your therapy session. You may find that the times are more convenient for you as well as the therapist has some additional flexibility as well with online sessions
There is also a heightened sense of privacy when choosing to receive mental health services online. You do not have to worry about someone seeing you walk into a therapist’s office. Finally, it may be less expensive than in person sessions in some cases.
If you are looking for telehealth support group therapy, please contact me. I offer several different groups for my clients.