Group Therapy (Group Psychotherapy)
Treatment for a number of mental health conditions and addictions are treated with psychotherapy. A process that uses talking as a way to treat a condition. For many people one of the best ways to receive psychotherapy is in a group setting. This is called group therapy. At Children’s Wellness Company, we have seen the benefit of group therapy with children and their families. Groups including parents and their adolescents (Multifamily Groups), sole adolescent groups (social skills, bullying, addictions, psycho-education, relational issues and interpersonal concerns), parenting groups offering solutions, strategies and supportive advise from other parents of all age groups (toddlers, preteens and adolescents) are also offered.
Often times when you see group therapy depicted on television there is a number of people gathered around in a circle talking. While this is sometimes how this treatment is carried out, there are many dynamics taking place during group therapy and it is only one of the many ways that you can apply psychotherapy.
What To Expect From Group Psychotherapy?
In group therapy a group of patients typically works through a specific issue. It could be anything from a mental illness to addiction, or even a group that is designed to aid those who have family members undergoing treatment.
Some groups will deal with specific symptoms that could be a symptom of any number of conditions. Shyness, anxiety, anger, self-esteem, and more can all be worked on in group therapy. The possibilities for group therapy are very open.
Typically during group therapy a single therapist will lead a group of up to 15 patients. For larger groups, the therapist may have an assistant or another therapist to help him out. You will find that most groups meet once or twice a week for no more than two hours but the typical session lasts about an hour.
What Can You Get From Group Therapy?
Everyone gets something different from group therapy and sees different effects. For many people the first session can seem a bit intimidating as you are with a bunch of strangers. Despite that initial intimidation many people see a lot of benefit from group psychotherapy.
One function of group therapy is to act as a sounding board where patients can talk about experiences that have happened to them whether in the past or recently. The group listens and then sometimes, depending on the group, gives feedback. You could also view this function as the development of a support group.
Knowing that others have the same or similar problems often puts a lot into perspective and can be very beneficial for those who are having problems. Just talking about your own problems can be a good experience, one of the many things that one-on-one therapy is used for. A new support group shows you that you can succeed and are not alone.
A lot of patients learn how to tackle problems in new ways from their group therapy. By hearing how others handle their problems you are exposed to a diverse population.
When you have a success your group will be there to celebrate it with you. If a failure happens, they will be there for you. By being open about your successes and failures you can learn a lot about yourself and help yourself succeed overall.
Another thing that group therapy does for patients is it helps them learn to voice their problems. Explaining to others what you are feeling or experiencing can be difficult. Finding the right words to relay it is challenging. In group therapy, as you discuss your problems, you learn how to voice them to others.
Professional Assistance From Your Therapist
During the session patients aren’t the only ones talking. The therapist will help to talk you through your experiences and problems. And then will help you to learn proven methods for combating said problems. Often times these methods are ones that won’t just help one member of the group but a good number of them.
That same professional will help to guide the overall session. This prevents a deterioration of the group and to keep the note of the sessions positive.
How To Start Group Therapy
Often times group therapy is something that you will need to discuss with a psychologist or your primary physician. They will give you a referral to a specific group or otherwise help you find a group that is right for you. Groups have different focuses and that sometimes means trying a group or two.
There are a lot of factors that you may want to consider before you join a group. One such consideration is whether you are joining an open or closed group. An open group allows patients to join at any time, meaning you may be joining in the middle of a specific group focus. Other groups are closed and require all new members to start at one point.
A lot of patients who find success from group therapy specifically look for groups with members that are like them. This helps to fuel success and group cohesion.
Some insurance companies may require you to get a referral from a professional to start group therapy. Another reason it is important to talk with your doctor or therapist about group therapy before beginning.
Is Group Therapy Private?
Like all forms of therapy group therapy comes with a obligation to keep the information that you learn about each other confidential. You are not even permitted to talk about whether or not a person is even in the group. A good way to encourage a sense of confidence is to remember that every member of the group shares personal information about themselves.
That same concern for privacy is something that everyone in the group shares.
Does Group Therapy Work By Itself?
A lot of people are concerned about whether or not group therapy will work by itself. One answer does not fit all situations. Some patients find success in just group therapy while others use both group therapy and one-on-one therapy. Others will mix in other types of treatments. At Children’s Wellness Company, we work with you to find the option that is right for you.
Psychotherapy is a proven method to help with a number of conditions. Group therapy is a subcategory of therapy that can work well by itself or with other treatments, depending on your specific needs. Therapy groups are a great way to obtain therapeutic feedback in a safe confidential environment. Various types of groups such as support groups, multifamily groups or psycho-educational groups are helpful to all types of people going through their healing journey.
At Children’s Wellness Company, we offer Group Therapy through licensed providers at a Masters or Doctorate level in South Florida. To learn more about our Group Therapy services, contact us at 305-310-4245 or you can email us.