Group therapy can at first sound fairly intimidating to people, but the reality is that group therapy can actually be more productive and powerful than individual therapy for many people. During group therapy individuals meet with a group who all have similar concerns. Therapy consists of learning effective tools while relating it to your experiences and listening to others share how they are coping and utilizing skills to help with their experiences as well. It is not a place where people share great details about unfortunate life events. It’s much more about learning tools and getting support from others who know what you are going through. Therapists provide a supportive environment and discuss the problems individuals face and help work towards goals.
Groups can push you forward by listening to others on how they overcame similar situations. Groups usually consist of people with different backgrounds and perspectives. This allows everyone to have a greater insight into their personal growth and development.
Groups can also foster social skills. Being anxious before a group therapy session is completely normal. After sessions progress, you usually feel more comfortable and relaxed. There is no pressure to share, everything is done at your own pace.
A common misconception about group therapy is each individual does one-on-one therapy with the therapist while everyone else watches. However, everyone is encouraged to look to each other in the group for support and feedback as well. If one group member is expressing her concerns about feeling anxious in a certain situation, other group members are encouraged to offer feedback and support by discussing how they may have gotten through in similar situations.
Group therapy can also help you express yourself. Acknowledging how you feel during a group session and speaking about it is encouraged. Sometimes you don’t know how you are feeling around others and it can be a challenge to connect with them. A group session and your therapist can push you to focus on these emotions and talk about them.
Group therapy can help you relate to others in a healthier manner. You can get honest feedback in a group from other members and the therapist. A group can talk about a situation and allow you to reflect on it. For example, it could be difficult for you to share positive information about yourself with someone else. Maybe you hide certain aspects of your personality or maybe you do not handle conflict well. A therapist will notice these traits and bring them up for a deeper discussion.
Finally, group therapy can provide a safety net. They can strengthen your communication skills and allow you to voice your feelings in a better way. A group can support you in ways individual therapy cannot. For example, if you have an experience during the time off from therapy, when you return you know you can report back to your group what happened. The group can become your safety net and support you for whatever you have gone through outside of therapy.
If you’d like to schedule an appointment for group therapy or have a particular group you would like to see us providing, contact Freedom Within today and let us know!