Group Therapy: Problems Solved, Types, Benefits and Drawbacks
Group therapy is a type of psychotherapy that offers individuals an opportunity to interact with others with similar issues in a supportive and safe environment. One or more psychologists lead a group of five to fifteen patients weekly for an hour or two to help them overcome specific problems.
The patients sit together in a large circle in a room for an open or closed session. It may be combined with individual therapy and medication for better results. Individuals are provided with an excellent support system where they can freely share their issues, receive professional help, and overcome their problems.
Problems Solved Through Group Therapy
Group therapy near you focuses on people who want help with:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Panic disorder
- Substance abuse
- Loss of a loved one, fr example, through suicide
- Domestic violence
- Chronic pain
- Unsuitable social skills like anger, low self-esteem, or shyness
- Social anxiety
- Cultural trauma
Types of Group Therapy
- Skills Development Groups
These groups focus on strengthening the behavioral and cognitive resources of the members to help them avoid harmful situations and make positive choices. The therapists introduce and improve the skills needed by the members to cope with mental health issues.
- Support Groups
Members are helped to cope with life changes which are significant in this group setting. The patients encourage each other to give and receive unconditional acceptance.
- Psycho-Educational Groups
Conditions like substance abuse, phobias, or anxiety are addressed in psycho-educational groups. The group is educated on these conditions and provided with practical coping skills.
- Cognitive Behavioral Groups
The members’ beliefs that lead to negative behavior are restructured by identifying situations and environments that trigger this behavior.
- Interpersonal Groups
These focus on how interpersonal relationships and social interactions impact your mental health. The psychodynamic approach is used to promote positive change in the patients.
Benefits of Group Therapy
- This type of therapy gives individuals a sense of belonging since they have similar issues. Group therapy makes them feel understood and accepted.
- Trained therapists, mental health professionals, or counselors supervise group therapy techniques for a suitable therapy experience for every individual within the group.
- Group therapy in Richardson provides a chance for accountability where the group members are responsible for holding each other accountable for his or her actions. This motivates an individual against actions that the group discourages.
- As the members interact with each other, they observe the coping and social skills of members who are ahead of them in the recovering process. This helps them to develop healthy social interaction skills.
- Family involvement speeds up the recovery process. When members discuss their problems in a group and receive positive reactions, they are encouraged to discuss them with family members and friends.
- In group therapy, the members understand behaviors that those outside the group disapprove of and are sympathetic towards each other. The members can evaluate their actions or thoughts without the fear of judgment.
- Encouragement and praise from fellow group members and therapists are invaluable to individuals who attend group therapy. They feel that it is genuine since it is from members who have the same struggles.
- During group therapy, you observe and learn from each other’s experiences. This enables you to receive insight into your behavior by observing those with similar issues.
- The cost of group therapy is less compared to personal counseling.
- Role-playing during group therapy gives you helpful feedback in the recovering process. New social skills can be tried out within the group’s safety and required rectifications made before implementing them to the community.
Drawbacks of Group Therapy
There are instances when group therapy is not appropriate. Some of them are discussed below.
- Suicidal patients or those in crises are not suitable candidates for group therapy since they cannot participate effectively in a group setting.
- Fragile people are prone to more emotional damage during group therapy since other members in the group may show hostile and aggressive behaviors during treatment.
- Patients with trust issues will find it hard to confide or bond with other group members due to the fear of rejection. They may even give false information so as not to be vulnerable. This hinders the healing process.
- Social phobia prevents individuals from interacting with members of the group. Such individuals will not benefit from group therapy.