Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy where several people (usually with similar issues/struggles) come together with one or more therapist to receive therapy, guidance, support, and/or coping skills. Group therapy is available in various settings, including mental health clinics, community centers, hospitals, and therapeutic private practices.
Group Therapy Benefits
Although participating in group therapy may seem intimidating for some, there are positive aspects of doing so. Some benefits of group therapy are:
- It is a safe place to practice social skills – group therapy provides a safe and supportive environment, which makes it a fantastic place to engage with others, work through conflict, and fine tune communication skills.
- It is cheaper than individual therapy – because of the client to therapist ratio, costs for group therapy are typically significantly lower than individual therapeutic sessions.
- There is built in support – being part of a group where others share similar struggles and stressors can provide a sense of community and be a healing source of support.
- It can increase motivation – when group members share success stories and/or positive steps towards recovery, others are often inspired to continue moving forward.
Group Therapy Models
With the wide range of benefits this kind of therapy can provide, the number of people seeking this treatment approach continues to grow. Because of this, the different models used and group therapy techniques have expanded. While new approaches and models are constantly emerging, some of the more common models include:
- Psychoeducational groups – teach participants about their specific disorder (i.e. – depression, anxiety, alcohol abuse, etc.) and ways to manage symptoms.
- Cognitive behavioral groups – these groups are focused on challenging group members’ unhealthy thought patterns and reducing dysfunctional behaviors.
- Skills development groups – often led from a cognitive behavioral approach, skills development groups introduce individuals to new ways to manage whatever it is they are struggling with. Some common skills groups include anger management, interpersonal effectiveness, and life skills.
- Process groups – typically unstructured, process groups allow participants to bring any issue/problem they are struggling with. Process groups are great for gaining support from peers and giving and receiving feedback.
- Support groups – the individuals in support groups tend to be struggling with the same thing, whether it be loss of a loved one (grief), substance abuse (addiction), or a physical ailment.
If you or someone you know is looking for group therapy, contact HPA/LiveWell in Albany, New York at 518-218-1118 to find out more about services offered.
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