Psychotherapy has long been associated with one-to-one communication and conversation in a closed space. But that might not work for everyone.
Perhaps one-to-one communication in a closed environment may not allow you to open up the way you need. That’s where group psychotherapy comes into play.
Group psychotherapy is an integrated approach where people with similar issues help each other out under a licensed therapist’s guidance.
This form of therapy has existed for the last 50 years. It has been used in combination with individual therapy and medications to treat various mental health issues.
Group therapy lets you realize the universality of your trauma. Finding relatable people can quickly lead to acceptance of grief and other emotional grievances.
Before discussing the benefits of group therapy and choosing it, let’s understand what it means and how it works.
What Is a Group Psychotherapy?
Group psychotherapy is a method of treating mental health issues without using medicines that involve a small group of people meeting with a licensed therapist.
The small group of people is carefully selected to ensure there isn’t a vast difference between their traumatic position and symptoms to provide a high sensitivity and relatability level.
By using the group’s power, each individual tries to evolve emotionally and get out of their current state of distress.
Unlike one-to-one, group therapy replicates an environment just like one in your school, family, and so on.
That allows you to feed off multiple relationships and inch towards acceptance, and move forward meeting the people with first-hand knowledge of different realities.
How Does It Work?
Group therapy involves anywhere between 5 to 15 people under one or more trained psychologists. You can expect to meet group 1 or 2 hours each week. A group typically sits in a circle with the therapist in the middle.
That allows each group member to see each other in a non-judgemental environment. The sessions start with each group member introducing each other and talking about the reasons behind their attendance.
The therapist will try to make the conversation as candid as possible to help people shed off their burden in front of a wider audience.
When you start having open and honest communications, you will begin to understand life better and get out of the rut soon.
Why Should You Choose Group Therapy?
It Lets You Realize You’re Not Alone
Group therapy can connect various individuals with similar trauma of different intensities.
Perhaps the therapists try to make groups based on similar mental health issues to ensure the members can relate to each other and start a productive conversation.
You’ll realize you’re not alone in having seemingly unacceptable thoughts, fantasies, traumas, and impulses.
Knowing that someone has experienced a similar or a more intense problem normalizes suffering, which is the first step to acceptance and moving forward.
Help Get Out of Isolation
Loneliness is a common trait among depressed people. You may feel incompetent to make friends once you start feeling anxious about being judged.
And of course, it seems impossible to find a non-judgmental environment that accepts you for what you are unless you opt for group therapy.
When the group encourages you to speak your heart out, you’ll start getting more comfortable talking socially.
Listening to stories of how members fought off isolation can inspire you to do the same. It also helps boost your confidence when you step back into the world.
Get a Better Idea of Your Condition
Many of us don’t understand the exact issues we have and the symptoms that come with the disorder.
Knowing how others behave in similar or different mental health issues like bipolar disorder, post-traumatic disorder, anxiety, or depression can gauge your situation better.
You would leave the group much more knowledgeable than you joined. Knowing the complete severity of your issue can let you adjust to different circumstances in a better way.
You’ll get to help other people during the therapy, making you feel that you can still offer a lot to the world. Offering something to others will enhance your self-respect and dignity.
Substitute for Family
The group can feel like a substitute as a family and help people who have had troubled family lives early in their lives. You can refix your dysfunctional interpersonal relationship by recasting your family in this way.
Reasons to Avoid
The method provides lesser personal attention as the therapist would talk to many people in a limited time. You may not be able to provide detailed insight.
Suppose you feel anxious in a crowd and are too socially awkward. In that case, you may not feel comfortable being candid in such a setting.
Starting with a one-to-one therapy and transition to a group session would be a better option in these cases.
Now that you know the benefits of group therapy, you would want to know how to find a group suitable for you.
The best way to find a suitable group is by contacting an online therapist that can connect a host of people with similar issues to a licensed therapist.
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