The idea of group therapy might seem intimidating. After all, who wants to share their thoughts and feelings? And who would like to listen to them? However, group therapy comprising 5 to 15 people led by a psychologist can be very beneficial.
Groups typically meet for 90 minutes to two hours once or twice weekly. The amount of information people want to reveal about themselves is entirely up to them. Still, there is comfort in knowing that what is said in the group stays in the group.
Scope For Interpersonal Learning
One of the best advantages of group therapy is interpersonal learning. In group therapy, people engage with others and create relationships between themselves. A person might be very passive in their relations. They might never say no or ask for anything from their partner or relatives. Whatever their relationship style is, it eventually gets reenacted in the group. This allows all individuals to get aware of their relationship dynamic. When a person becomes aware of their typical way of interacting with others, the group provides a safe facility to experiment with different behaviors. Healthy relationship behaviors that can be developed in group therapy include standing up for oneself, setting boundaries, and expressing intimate feelings.
Builds Community Connections
Facing challenges in life is harder when you deal with them alone. You cannot share them with others, which makes it difficult to cope with them. Individuals find relief in group therapy by sharing their thoughts and feelings. Sharing one’s personal experiences fosters connection and emotional support.
Acceptance and understanding from other group members about something that feels shameful and uncomfortable may reduce shame and promote self-growth. Group therapy helps you identify negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It enables you to replace them with better ways of thinking. You gradually get exposed to more significant trauma-related triggers to reduce shame, guilt, and anxiety.
Promoting Social Skill
Group therapy helps you ease the sense of isolation. It gives you the ability to reengage with people. You discover that you can get along with people when you interact with them in a group.
The Bottom Line
People gather in groups to be more thoughtful, truthful and engaged in relationships. It enables them to build small victories and helps them cope with everything they would have gone through alone. Some patients even claim they ‘feel more alive’ with the help of group therapies. Giving them a try never hurts you, even if you are reluctant at first.
1. Which is better: Individual therapy or Group Therapy?
The results of individual and group therapy are the same. It depends on the individual that is taking part in them. However, participating in both therapies has proven to be more beneficial than taking just one.
2. What if I am not comfortable sharing my problems in a group?
There is nothing wrong with listening to others and giving them helpful advice. Not being able to share your problems with others has no harm. However, doing so might help you get things bothering you off your chest. Expressing yourself when you feel bad is not as bad as some might make you think.