Group therapy involves small groups of typically 6-12 people and a therapist. The sessions are confidential and members have the opportunity to work together with the support of a therapist on a different range of issues.
The idea of joining a therapy group can seem a little strange, even scary at first. This may be because many people can feel uncomfortable with the idea of talking to strangers or may be ashamed about a particular behaviour or other aspects of themselves.
Does this resonate with you? If it does, I hear you … let me offer you some reassurance: Many people I work with are surprised to learn that their experiences, thoughts and feelings are actually similar to other members’ and that they quickly feel at ease in the first session. Working therapeutically in a group helps members to alleviate feelings of isolation, shame and realise that their experience is valid and a part of being human.
You may think to yourself, "Ok … so … what happens in a therapy group?"
Let me explain: Members listen to each other express concerns, thoughts and feelings and have the opportunity to get feedback from them. The focus then shifts from feeling defective and isolated to connecting and being open to new experiences. Why does group therapy work? Because, when interacting freely with each other, members tend to recreate similar patterns of behaviour that exist with other relationships outside the group.
This is an opportunity not only to increase self awareness and choice but also to learn new ways of thinking, feeling and behaving that serve them better. With the help of a therapist they can learn new tools, recognise their choices and find freedom from the issues concerning them.
In conclusion, group therapy is just as effective as individual therapy. It offers support and feedback from other members going through a similar struggle with the added benefit of a therapist’s experience and guidance. If you have been unsure about group therapy or questioned if it works, I hope that this article has helped you to clarify any doubts or concerns.
Please feel free to get in touch for further information or questions about group therapy.