Based on statistics by the World Health Organization, the rate of mental health concerns like anxiety is increasing among the population. Among the different mental health interventions, psychotherapy is less intrusive and has proven to positively affect well-being. One of the most common therapy methods is the group therapy model, and for good reason.
Therapy is a personal and emotional experience. You formulate a therapeutic alliance with your therapist as you discuss sensitive topics during the process. These are usually things you don’t feel comfortable sharing with people you know – even your close friends or family.
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Because the process can be adapted according to the client’s needs, therapy can address a broad spectrum of challenges people face, such as eating disorders, bipolar disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Let’s have a look at the benefits that group therapy provides.
Group therapy sessions: How it can benefit you
At most specialised treatment centres, such as United Recovery Behavioral Health, group therapy is an important part of the therapeutic process. During group therapy sessions, one or more therapists will lead group discussions.
You’ll be in a group of two or more people with similar mental health conditions. The primary goal of group therapy sessions is to provide the following benefits.
Makes you feel supported
When you’re struggling with mental health issues, you’re likely to experience intense feelings of loneliness. In these cases, group therapy offers a way to alleviate these feelings.
When you’re surrounded by people with similar experiences as you, you no longer feel alone in your struggle, whether it’s anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder. These interactive sessions can heal you on an emotional level.
Knowing that you’re not alone can encourage you to speak up about your personal experiences. At the same time, you understand the challenges that other people with a similar disorder experience. As you hear other people articulate their feelings, you learn how to express your own.
Motivates you to stay in treatment
Many people approach treatment expecting to receive fast results but feel disappointed when they don’t, which results in high drop-out rates. In group therapy, you’ll attend sessions with people who are at different stages of their recovery journey.
Seeing how they’re improving gradually will motivate you to stay in treatment instead of dropping out. It can inspire you to continue attending sessions and improve your mental well-being.
You get different perspectives on a single problem
In group therapy, people come with distinct traits and unique personalities. As a result, they share their own viewpoints and perspectives. Discussing a single problem with an entire group allows you to get varying perspectives from different people. In this way, you learn to tackle problems in different ways.
This encourages you to keep an open mind when faced with challenges and obstacles. Additionally, being in a group with people from different backgrounds reduces the risk of feeling guilty about your mental concerns. They can openly share their perspective without the fear of being judged since all of them are going through something similar.
Provides an opportunity to practise coping strategies
A traumatic experience can often have long-lasting impacts on your well-being. At times, it can affect your interpersonal interactions without you even being aware of it. Group therapy sessions are a powerful tool for dealing with this problem. During sessions, your therapist will help you practice effective strategies for coping with feelings of stress and panic that arise when you’re exposed to a trigger.
Group therapy provides a safe space for you to practise these coping skills. Participants in therapeutic groups have the chance to communicate with other members and test their skills. This process of comprehension happens both during the scheduled lesson and during breaks when more casual encounters take place.
Not to mention, group therapy provides a beneficial setting for people to take ownership of their interpersonal abilities. It will help you gain a better awareness of how your conduct and words affect other people.
Acts as a protective support system
For people dealing with mental health struggles, it’s common to feel hesitant when speaking up about yourself and stating your demands. Group therapy offers a setting to address this uneasiness by teaching you how to set boundaries.
It encourages you to express your needs clearly and coherently by practising them with other members of the group. This can build your confidence and improve your ability to engage with people outside the therapeutic setting as well. A study highlighted group therapy’s effectiveness in reducing anxiety about social situations and assisting patients with life changes.
Group therapy vs individual therapy: Which one should you opt?
Many people are of the opinion that group therapy sessions are only offered when facilities are short-staffed and unable to provide individual attention. Consequently, they consider individual therapy sessions to be more effective since they can get more attention.
However, the American Psychological Association (APA) says that group therapy has the same level of efficiency as individual therapy.
In fact, the APA believes that group therapy sessions can be more effective if they are carried out in the right manner.
Nevertheless, it’s important to consider each person’s diagnosis and circumstances before placing them in a group setting. It’s possible that group therapy is effective for one individual but not for another.
To ensure that you’re getting the most out of group therapy, it’s imperative that you get in touch with a professional therapist. They carefully assess each client and recommend an appropriate therapeutic intervention.
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The bottom line is that group therapy not only allows you to process painful experiences but also provides an incentive for individual development. It also allows you to improve your interpersonal abilities. Moreover, it helps in boosting your confidence and alleviating anxiety by actively participating in group sessions.
But this is something that you need to ask and discuss with your therapist. So, get in touch with a reliable therapist who can assess your condition and determine if it’s the right option for you.
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