Group therapy is very common in some settings, like addiction or loss of a family member, but those aren’t the only settings in which group therapy can work. Here are some of the common questions and answers regarding group therapy.
Why should I join a therapy group?
One reason a therapist might suggest a group is that there are skills we can learn in a therapeutic group that we would not have the opportunity to learn in individual therapy. The relationship created in individual therapy is unique and sometimes the relationships formed in a group therapy setting are more like those in life outside therapy.
A group offers the opportunity to interact with people who have many different personality traits. This provides an environment where individuals can learn how interactions with people at work, in social situations, and in the family may trigger old patterns of behavior. In a therapy group it is possible to discover obstacles to communicating effectively. Group members can work on finding new ways to interact that can be more successful.
If I do join, what can I expect?
First, let’s look at the structure of a therapy group. A therapeutic group is usually composed of five to eight people. They meet with a trained therapist who leads the group. Usually, the group meets for an hour and a half every other week. Group sessions are designed to give everyone who wishes to talk an opportunity to do so, therefore they are longer than individual sessions.
A safe environment is crucial to the process of talking about difficult issues. One way the group provides this kind of environment is to be mindful of confidentiality. Topics discussed in the group are not discussed outside the group. Group members use first names only. These guidelines allow each group member to bring issues they are sorting out and problems they wish to solve to the group for supportive listening.
Groups are not appropriate for everyone. However, when we do recommend a group, it is because we believe there is something significant to be gained. If you have questions about group therapy and how it can complement individual therapy in the Upper Valley, get in touch, We’d be happy to talk through your options and help you discover what’s best for your needs.