The path towards a fulfilling life can be complicated, and therapy is a valuable resource. Often therapy is only viewed through an individual/therapist paradigm, but group therapy is an effective treatment intervention that can work on its own or in conjunction with individual therapy. So what is group therapy?
GROUP THERAPY IS COUNSELING IN A SOCIAL MILIEU WITH A CLINICIAN FACILITATING THE PROCESS.
Group therapy is counseling in a social milieu with a clinician facilitation the process. This intervention focuses on how your diagnosis manifests and impacts you interpersonally.
There are a number of unique benefits to participation in group therapy. One can address the isolation that is symptomatic of many diagnoses, such as depression.
People often feel isolated in their experience and group therapy allows people to interact with seemingly different individuals that share similar experiences. Participation in a supportive environment like group therapy can also aid in understanding and working through deep discomforts triggered by social circumstances that are symptomatic of diagnoses like anxiety and social anxiety.
Finally, group therapy aids in deepening your understanding of ‘you’ in relation to the ‘other’ in a titrated, expertly guided way. This often leads to insight in how you function in social relationships, repetitive challenges you may face in relationships, and patterns of behaviors that impact your relationships.
Many patients are concerned about group therapy and unfairly avoid it due to concerns about sharing their personal experience with strangers, being triggered by the experiences of others, or concerns about getting along with other members.
These concerns are valid, but often fall to the background with a skilled group therapist who is able to appropriately curate a group, reinforce confidentiality, and assist in processing difficult experiences as a group. The benefits typically outweigh the initial anxieties.
If you are considering group therapy, you can always meet with the facilitator for an intake and get a better idea of the clinician, the group, and if it would be a good fit for your needs.