Group psychotherapy is an effective form of therapy in which a small number of people meet together under the guidance of a professionally trained therapist to help themselves and one another. There are many different approaches to group therapy but they share in common creating a safe, supportive, and cohesive space to address personal, relationship and societal issues.
Group therapy is a type of psychotherapy that can involve one or more therapists working with multiple people at the same time in a group. This type of therapy can be offered in-person or virtually through telehealth. It can be offered by private therapists, hospitals, mental health clinics, or community centers. Generally speaking, group therapy is capped at a certain number of attendees in order to effectively work for the group as a whole.
There are a number of benefits to starting group therapy, as well as just starting therapy in general. Here a few of the key reasons you'd choose group therapy over other types of therapy.
One of the most important benefits is that everyone in the group shares some common thread. Most of the time attendees are going through similar experiences and can use each other as a support system. There can be feelings of isolation and alienation when dealing with a mental health issue, but group therapy can help you realize you aren't alone.
In group therapy, you'll be hearing from other people from all walks of life. With different personal experiences, people tend to approach their mental health with different perspectives. By seeing how other people handle these issues and problems, you can incorporate different way to address your own mental health.
With group therapy subtle forms of peer pressure can be helpful. By peer pressure we don't mean judging someone or making them feel guilty for behaving a certain way. But with group therapy you can provide positive feedback and advice for addressing challenges, and a feeling of accountability takes place by wanting to be true to the work you're doing with your group and achieve your own personal goals.
Just as individual therapy, group therapy requires the entire group to remain confidential outside of the group. Usually all attendees will be required to sign documentation that whatever is said in group therapy, stays in group therapy. This allows all participants to be fully open and honest with each other without fear of their story being shared, and this also helps build trust among all participants to maintain a sense of community.
Generally speaking group therapy can be more approachable from a financial perspective rather than individual therapy. Group therapy usually costs a fraction of what individual therapy will cost, while also still providing a support environment to address your mental health issues.
If you’re wanting a sense of community and to connect with individuals with similar experiences or who share the same mental illness, group therapy or a support group might be great for you. However, if you’re dealing with severe mental illness, 1:1 therapy with a therapist who can focus on your care might be better for you. Additionally, if you're looking for a more accessible option or are not able to financially commit to individual therapy, group therapy would be a great option for you.
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Ryan is former Head of Growth. At MyWellbeing, he helps providers get matched with clients through their unique matchmaking directory. Prior to MyWellbeing, he was the founder of Kontess, an edtech solution for universities, which was acquired in 2021. He has worked with small businesses and startups alike to help them increase revenue and reach more potential customers through the use of sales and marketing at his agency, Rex Marketing & CX.