Sometimes, journaling or sharing your feelings with someone may not suffice. You’ll need a safe space to voice out your experiences and feelings at some point.
If you’re thinking about psychotherapy, group therapy can be a wonderful option for you. This type of therapy can be an ideal choice for addressing mental health issues with the presence and support of others.
Group Therapy 101
You might have heard how group therapy can help you address your mental health condition and give you tools to manage your symptoms. It’s a kind of psychotherapy typically led by one psychologist, psychotherapist, or licensed social worker. Group size will depend on the type of group therapy.
For instance, couples therapy, a type of group therapy, only consists of two individuals. On the other hand, family therapy might consist of five or more clients, depending on the number of people involved and affected by the family issue.
Moreover, for certain groups, including people suffering from addictive disorders or anxiety-related problems, therapy sessions will involve roughly 4 to more than 10 patients. The group usually schedules a meeting once or twice a week, for an hour or two. How far people want to share their stories will be based on their discretion and comfort level.
While group therapy can be done alone, this can also be used in conjunction with individual therapy and other forms of mental health treatment. The initiative may serve as an additional resource that could contribute to one’s growth and recovery.
The Benefits Of Going To Group Therapy
The idea of sharing your experiences with strangers might seem awkward and intimidating. If you’re on the fence about giving group therapy a try, looking for a credible mental health provider who may encourage you to take the step.
For instance, Alvarado Parkway Institute has licensed psychotherapists and psychologists trained to lead group therapy sessions. Working with an experienced professional can give you peace of mind that you’re in the right hands. This feeling of security can translate to confidence that you can overcome your situation and get better.
Continue reading to learn the mental health benefits of participating in group therapy.
1. Group Therapy Offers Encouragement
Group therapy may consist of members at different stages of their treatment program. Seeing how others are recovering with the aid of their customized treatment plan boosts confidence that yours may also be just as effective.
In addition, witnessing how others have overcome difficult parts of the treatment plan can encourage you to push past your battles. The presence of these strong people can inspire you to follow the program and show up for therapy. Take note that staying consistent and diligent with your treatment approach plays an important role in your recovery.
2. Group Therapy Builds Resilience
Having to fight the same battles every day can be exhausting and frustrating. Periods of relapse, anxiety attacks, and symptom mismanagement may lead you to lose patience and give up on hope. Fortunately, group therapy can help you become strong.
A big advantage of going to group therapy is that it helps you recognize that others are going through similar struggles. Whether you’re experiencing periods of relapse or coping with depression, your personal problems will be discussed during your counseling sessions.
This reality doesn’t diminish your pain or discredit your experiences, but it can help you feel less alone. It eases feelings of isolation, stress, and hopelessness.
The sense of belongingness offers you hope that you too can prevail over adversity and develop resilience.
3. Group Therapy Gives You A Sense Of Purpose
Group therapy lets you have something to look forward to every week. For other people, it makes them excited for certain days of the week, as they’d get to meet and converse with the friends they’ve made. This positive feeling is an essential component of your recovery. Engaging with others can give you a sense of purpose, changing the direction of your life.
Since you’ll be involved in a group, each of you will naturally learn to show support to others. As you go through your counseling sessions, you’ll see how you can make people feel less alone. This experience will help you realize that you’re important and your opinion matters. All these will influence your behavior, increase your optimism, and bring meaning to your life.
4. Group Therapy Teaches You To Show Compassion
Group therapy will involve many interpersonal activities, depending on your therapist. Along with your therapy sessions, you’ll be given the opportunity to receive aid from people, as well as extend it. Interestingly, supporting others helps you become patient not only to them but also to yourself. It teaches you to show compassion.
Compassion is an important quality as you move along in your treatment program. By empathizing with your group members, you can be kinder and acknowledge the progress you’ve made and the small accomplishments that should be celebrated.
5. Group Therapy Improves Communication
Struggling with a mental health illness can affect your relationships in school, work, and family. You might tend to withdraw from social gatherings and isolate yourself due to fear or humiliation. Unfortunately, distancing yourself from people you love may only increase self-pity and feelings of hopelessness.
Group therapy helps people practice interacting with other people in a safe and judgment-free environment. Talking with other people during your group sessions will not only make you feel you belong, but it will also serve as a great avenue to develop your communication skills.
Furthermore, group therapy encourages you to step out of your comfort zone and open up about your struggles. It even teaches you to listen to others, be attentive with their body language, and respect others’ differing opinions. It equips you with techniques to reach out to others, so loved ones can understand you better.
After completing your group therapy sessions, you’ll gain more confidence, knowing that you can handle similar social issues you’ve avoided in the past.
Leaning to others for acceptance and validation might seem quite intimidating. However, learning to be vulnerable with others and speaking about your struggles will contribute to your healing. Consult with a mental health provider today and witness the benefits group therapy can bring to your life.