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Group therapy is a form of therapy that uses psychotherapy techniques in a group setting. Unlike one-on-one talk therapy, group therapy gathers a certain amount of people together. Inside this group, everyone has a chance to share their experiences pertaining to treatment.
For example, if a group therapy session is for depression and anxiety, a person may share how they are experiencing those mental health conditions. Each person takes a turn sharing their experience with the help of a therapist leading the group discussion.
Group therapy can be an effective form of treatment for mental health. It is a way of connecting to others going through the same thing. It is also a way to gain insight and perspectives from others. Learning from other people can enhance your therapeutic experience.
This kind of therapy treats many different forms of mental health conditions and is also helpful in treating substance abuse. These conditions include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), among others.
Group Therapy for Adults
Group therapy for common mental health conditions, such as depression, has been shown to significantly reduce depression symptoms. As long-term care for mental health conditions rises, alternatives to traditional therapy methods are crucial. This also gives those struggling and waiting to be seen by an individual therapist a way to access essential social support.
While group therapy helps those who feel alone and isolated, it also helps those looking to feel connected to others experiencing the same illness. According to an article published by the National Library of Medicine, group therapy is beneficial to most adults experiencing a mental health condition or disorder.
Group Therapy vs. Individual Therapy
Some individuals struggle to open up one-on-one to a therapist. They may feel fearful and nervous or be so introverted it is hard to converse. Group therapy is a way to see others just as vulnerable and know that talking to someone is good.
People in group therapy, as opposed to individual psychotherapy, tend to learn more than they realize about themselves. When others share their experiences and questions are asked, the person who is listening may find that they experienced the same thing. They may learn new ways to cope with their situation. Or, they may help a person manage a situation more appropriately.
Support From Group Therapy Clients
The aforementioned article also states that when individuals come together to talk about their challenges, they also tend to help one another. It is in this way that their self-esteem strengthens. Witnessing the success of other patients can also be inspiring. Additionally, it can help motivate the others in the group.
For adults in group therapy, it is easy to experience cohesiveness and support. They may not always receive this same support in their daily lives or through friends and family members. Attending group sessions may help them find the support that they need to continue their care.
Additional Benefits of Group Therapy
Some benefits of group therapy include:
- Camaraderie: Getting together with peers who can relate to your situation is healthy for the mind.
- Gaining self-confidence: Support from others can help your self-esteem and make you feel confident, which helps your mind feel better about who you are as a person.
- Cost-effectiveness: While going to an individual therapist costs money, some group therapies are free to join; some often cost less than individual therapy if the cost of the group is paid out of pocket.
Group therapy also teaches you interpersonal skills through regular group discussions. In these discussions, there is the ability to learn problem-solving methods that can help you cope and manage your overall symptoms. Sharing experiences with one another can be beneficial in managing your symptoms.
Learning how to cope and manage your own situation could come from the advice of another group attendee. Also, there may be multiple therapists leading the discussion and/or group. This means that there is a better chance to talk to a therapist privately if you have any questions that you don’t feel comfortable sharing with the group.
Adding Group Therapy to Your Treatment Plan
If you are thinking about adding group therapy to your treatment plan, there are several ways you could do this. First, you could attend different groups that you may find interesting. Ask the therapist leading the group if you can listen instead of sharing if you feel you aren’t ready.
When you find the group for you, simply add this group to your schedule and commit to attending the sessions. This way, you will build a community of people who can help you manage your mental health condition.
Group therapy has been proven to help individuals experiencing various mental health conditions. This method of treatment is readily available both as an inpatient and outpatient treatment. Be patient because sometimes it takes multiple group sit-ins to find the right group for you. When you collaborate with others, you learn something about yourself that could benefit you in the long term.
If you or someone you know is interested in receiving treatment for their mental health, we encourage you to check out Alter Wellness Care. We offer outpatient programs that will help you manage and overcome your difficulties. Our medical professionals have served the Laguna Beach community for years and would love to help you, too. We offer support groups for clients looking for shared experiences, collaborative problem-solving, and more. Take the first step and call our office today at (866) 311-3510. We are happy to assist you because we know that you carry a light inside of you that needs to be nourished. Together, we will help you regain control of your life.