Group Therapy for Mental Health
Group Therapy: What is It, and Who Can It Help?
Group therapy for mental health is a counseling session with at least two patients gathered together, overseen by a licensed therapist. Most of the time, the group consists of more than five but often less than twenty. In most instances, there are several people going through the same situation and talking within that session. This treatment can help most people knowing that they are not alone.
At least one licensed counselor facilitates this group. In some instances, two counselors are facilitating the group. These counselors will guide and direct the group for everyone to open up and help each other during each session.
Group therapy provides a support system for patients. Individuals begin to understand that they are not alone in their treatment, and often, many others are suffering the same obstacles they are.
It also provides accountability within a group setting. While within the group, the therapy session helps the individual when preparing and for coping with the outside world. This support system will help them succeed with their objectives in getting better and fulfilling outside obligations.
Overall Benefits of Group Therapy
Group therapy for mental health provides a network of understanding and support. Group therapy provides a place where people are comfortable in knowing that other people are going through the same situation. This is comforting to the person going through their situation. The desire to not being alone strengthens the group dynamics. Group therapy also helps and encourages the people in the group to participate in life and cope with certain obstacles in life.
Group Therapy Dynamics for Mental Health
Group therapy for mental health is a round table discussion where individuals can share their feelings and thoughts. This setting provides all people visibility and the ability to be heard. This is done so as a group, they can work out their common struggles within sessions together.
In group therapy, patients share their stories. In this dynamic, things may be discussed that a certain patient may not have realized in their own situation. This, in turn, helps that individual to heal. Within the group, the progression of the individual is also discussed. The itinerary of the meeting is facilitated by the therapist and is dependent on the goals of the group.
The goals of group therapy help facilitate the meeting agenda. The session can be pre-planned by the therapist or discussed and planned with the group as a whole. When the meeting is pre-arranged, the meetings have more structure. There are times when the patients are willing to share and take the meeting in a different direction than previously intended. New skills are developed and nurtured within the group to provide skills for coping outside of group therapy.
What are the Benefits of Group Therapy?
Seeing success in their peers within the group provides the ambition to get better and hope for their own future. Group therapy aims to associate individuals with similar ambitions. Group therapy provides confidence to the group. Patients can see each other succeed in each step in their treatment process.
There are many assets to being in group therapy.
Recognizing you are not alone in your struggle
Being alone is generally not ideal for the proper recovery of a person with mental illness. Being alone exacerbates the suffering. Encouragement in sharing within a group setting helps to build confidence within the members of the group. The sharing process within a group setting helps to encourage the healing process and strengthen the bonds within the group.
The fear of isolation is common in mental health issues and can be paralyzing to that individual. Although it can take time for someone to begin interacting in a group setting, they will still be able to see the dynamic. Group therapy is therapeutic for its members. Patients go into therapy, thinking that their situations and thoughts are unique only to find out there are others like them going through similar situations.
Having a support system within the group therapy setting
With the reduction of isolation, a support system begins to build. Support systems are important to the healing process within the group therapy sessions. In group therapy, it is encouraged by the psychotherapist to rely on each other for support and encouragement. This encouragement enhances the support system and the relationships within the group.
The individual learns how to address emotions or concerns in group therapy
The psychotherapist encourages all the members to speak out and share their feelings during group therapy sessions. There are times the patients do not realize their feelings until it is expressed by others within the group.
Undergo the process of healthy relationship building with other members in the group
Group therapy provides a safe environment to nurture relationships. Relationships building is encouraged by the psychotherapist professional. The psychotherapist professional provides the group with the necessary skills to help with relationships.
The ability to feel safe and secure amongst a group of individuals who share similar goals
Those healthy relations formed within the group therapy sessions provide a safe place for people to express themselves. These bonds that are developed are like having a family that does not judge you. These bonds encourage you to express yourself and help others to do the same.
When individuals share events that are in common with the rest of the group, this encourages bonds similar to family and promotes lasting relationships within the group. This promotes members of the group to form new methods of skills and to be able to express themselves in a safe and loving environment. These newly learned skills encourage the individuals around them within the group.
Types of Therapy for Mental Health
These therapies are:
- Group therapy is in a group setting designed to help more than one client at a time.
- Individual therapy is designed for one person to get the complete attention from the psychotherapist focusing on the individual’s problems.
- Family therapy is where the whole family is together, helping the therapist discover that particular family dynamic and helping the whole family in that situation.
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is behavioral therapy. This includes role-playing with the therapist. This type of therapy is used for a wide variety of mental disorders.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the understanding of the individual and why they do whatever it is that they do.
If you or a loved one is suffering from depression or any other mental condition, here at Montare Behavioral Health, we can help. We provide a wide range of therapies and treatments that can help a wide range of people.
Who Can Group Therapy Help?
Group therapy helps a wide range of disorders and people going through a rough time in life. Here are some instances where group therapy can be helpful.
- Group therapy is beneficial for individuals who have lost a loved one and need help coping with their new situation.
- Group therapy is helpful for individuals suffering from an eating disorder.
- Group therapy is beneficial for people who are lonely.
- Group therapy is greatly beneficial for anger management.
- Group therapy helps people with self-esteem issues.
- Depression is another mental health issue helped by group therapy.
- Group therapy is also beneficial for substance abuse.
- Group therapy is helpful with conditions of self-esteem and people who are shy.
- Group therapy is beneficial for people who need help with social skills.
Joining a Therapy Group
There are a couple of things you need to know before joining a therapy group:
- One thing that may be beneficial to know before joining a therapy group is whether a group is opened or closed. A therapy group that is closed means that all the individuals in that group start at the same time and end at the same time. This kind of group does not allow for new members to start within the group. An open therapy group allows new members to join at any time.
- Another question to have answered before joining a group is how many people in a group. Each person has a preference for a larger or smaller group. A larger group has more personalities and could have a greater influence and a variety of people with different ideas. While smaller groups develop more interpersonal relationships and have more focus on the individual.
- You may want to ask your therapist which therapy would be better for you, either individual or group.
- You may also want to find out which therapy would be more cost-effective for you.