Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy in which several patients meet regularly to share their struggles with one another with guidance from a therapist. Although many people initially feel intimidated by the idea of sharing private issues with a group of strangers, research shows that working on challenges in this setting can be highly effective and rewarding.
This type of therapy may be used alone, but it is often part of a treatment plan that includes individual therapy and possibly medication. Many different types of problems can be addressed with group therapy, including:
During group therapy, the patient can benefit from feedback not just from the therapist, but also from the other people in the group. Group members share information with each other, which helps individual participants realize they are not alone.
Sharing with others can also make you feel that you have something to give. As you realize you are able to help others, you may experience a boost in your self-confidence. In addition, therapy in a group setting is usually less expensive than individual therapy.
Other benefits of group therapy include:
Group therapy sessions may consist of only three or four participants, or as many as 12 to 15. Sessions are usually an hour or so, and meet once or twice a week. As each person progresses, he or she becomes a role model for other members of the group.
Group therapy offers an opportunity to obtain several different perspectives. People who come from different backgrounds may be able to offer widely different viewpoints, and this varied feedback can be shared in a safe, supportive environment. You may be pleasantly surprised at how rewarding participation in group therapy can be.
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