Benefits of group therapy
Group therapy, as well as individual, helps people to improve their ways of dealing with problems, but the person, in addition to the therapist, meets a group of people.
Group therapy can be very effective, especially in certain situations. Research has shown that group therapy can be an effective treatment choice for depression and traumatic stress.
Observing the development of humans in the direction of his understanding as a social being, as a product of the cultural-historical environment that creates and influences the development of his illness and health. Thus, the idea that a group can treat mental disorders arose as a consequence of the belief that the group could prevent their occurrence. Group therapy is recommended because, according to the principle of treatment, it is similar only to a more tolerant environment than the one that influenced the development of the disorder.
Therapy in a group environment can have many benefits, as it provides a support network and offers the opportunity to meet other people who have similar problems. They work together with the therapist and other group members, who are encouraged to share their experiences and work to better understand themselves.
Today, group therapy usually involves a small group of people (between 7 and 12 is considered the norm), and therapists, during the first therapy session, group members can begin by presenting and sharing why they are there. The therapist can then encourage members to discuss their experiences and progress. The way a therapy session is structured will depend on the style of the therapist leading the session and the nature of the care being researched.
Sessions are confidential – as they would be in a single therapy session, when someone agrees to attend group therapy, in addition, they are likely to be required to attend a certain number of sessions. Some sessions may involve discussion only, while others may involve group therapy activities. Such activities may include skills development, problem-solving, or confidence-building exercises.
If you don’t want to talk or participate in activities, you don’t have to. Some spend weeks sitting and listening before they are ready to talk about their own experience, so you should not feel pressured to do something you don’t want to do. How effective is group therapy?
Advantages of using group therapy
Group therapy allows people to get the support and encouragement of other group members. People who participate in a group can see others going through the same thing, which can help them feel less alone.
Group members can serve as role models to other group members. By observing someone who is successfully coping with a problem, other members of the group can see that there is hope for recovery. As each person progresses, they can, in turn, serve as a role model and support for others. This can help foster a sense of success and achievement.
Group therapy is often very affordable. Instead of focusing on just one client at a time, a therapist can dedicate his time to a much larger group of people.
Group therapy offers a safe haven. The setting allows people to behave and act within the safety and security of the group.
Working in a group, the therapist can see firsthand how each person reacts to other people and behaves in social situations. With this information, the therapist can give useful feedback to each client.
Benefits from group therapy according to set goals
In some respects, group and individual therapy are the same, and the goals are usually similar. With group therapy, however, the therapist can use group dynamics to achieve these goals in a different way. The benefits are found in the following:
Help with emotional difficulties through feedback: Discussing emotional difficulties with your therapist and other members of the group therapy will provide you with extensive feedback. This feedback can be the advice of a therapist or even practical advice from other group members who have experienced a similar problem. The goal is to help you learn your own control methods so you can handle things if / when problems arise.
Offer a supportive environment: Group therapy is not only an opportunity to get information and advice but also an opportunity to reach out and support others. What is discussed in their therapy sessions is conducted confidentially. Talking to people who are going through similar problems also helps you feel less isolated and therefore more compatible.
Therapeutic factors according to Yalom
Irvin Yalom has been a key figure in the development of group therapy, and her therapeutic factors are still adhered to by many therapists working with today’s groups. The following factors are some of those enumerated by Yalom and help explain the theory behind group therapy in a little more detail.
Universality: This factor is the recognition that experiences shared within a group can be universal, something that human beings experience around the world. Universality helps to praise self-esteem by removing feelings of isolation.
Altruism: When you participate in a group therapy session, you may be able to counsel other members. This sense of altruism can help you develop your own interpersonal skills and adaptive coping styles.
Instilling hope: Sometimes a group therapy session involves people at different stages of their recovery. This means that you can find yourself in an environment with others who have been and who have found ways to cope and/or recover; Seeing this can provide hope in difficult times.
Information to share: The ability to share and share information with others can be incredibly useful. Many members of the group therapy stated that they found it useful to learn more about other users, which could include information about their treatment or access to services.
Development of socialization techniques: Talking in a group therapy session allows you to improve social skills and interpersonal behavior in a safe and supportive environment. This can help build self-confidence and this knowledge can be applied in practice outside of therapy sessions.
Imitation Behavior: In some cases who are in the same environment as the therapist, even other members who have recovered from the group can help develop skills by observation and imitation. We will have the opportunity to see how others react and solve problems, which offers us the opportunity to learn through their positive behavior.
Cohesion: Human beings are by nature harmful animals and for most of us it is part of a cohesive group that offers a sense of belonging, acceptance, and appreciation. Therefore, working through topics in a group environment can make you feel comfortable.
Existential Factors: Talking to others about your experiences can help you learn about the responsibilities and consequences of your decisions. Sometimes hearing about the mistakes made by others can help give you perspective.
Catharsis: Catharsis refers to the experience of alleviating emotional distress through an unrestrained expression of emotion. Telling your story to a group of people who support and understand it can be very cathartic and can provide relief from feelings you have previously suppressed.
Interpersonal learning: Communicating with other people who provide information about their behavior and the impact this carries can help achieve a better sense of self-awareness. A better understanding of your behavior is often the first step to change and recovery.
Although group therapy can technically be applied to a wide range of problems, there are certain areas that can particularly benefit from group dynamics. Here are some examples:
Anxiety: For people who suffer from anxiety, going out and interacting with those who understand you can be very helpful. Knowing that they are not alone in their feelings and hearing others deal with their anxiety can be very helpful. They are also likely to develop better social skills, which can help if they suffer from social anxiety.
Depression: Patients with depression may feel very vulnerable and isolated. Leaving home and talking to other people is always helpful, and as part of group therapy, it can be even more helpful. Knowing other people who are going through similar problems and discussing adjustment mechanisms can help a lot. You may also find that giving your own advice helps increase your sense of self-worth.
Eating Disorders: For some people, the support network created by Group Therapy can help them recover from eating disorders. For others, however, it can be counterproductive. If you find that you are comparing yourself to others in the group (for example, weight/size), it will be better to look for individual therapy.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Being alone with your own thoughts in times of anxiety can cause severe symptoms when you suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder. Talking to other people who understand your feelings and behavior can help you better understand your condition. Together they can support each other and look for ways to cope.
Relationship difficulties: If you find it difficult to forge and maintain relationships, group therapy can help. Regular socializing with other people can help you develop interpersonal and social skills that can be practiced outside of your sessions.
Self-Injury: Meeting others who are fighting self-harm can help you feel less alone. Listening to others deal with their problems, including practical advice you may not have thought about, can be very interesting.
Seeking the support of others can be very helpful when you have emotional difficulties and it is important to find a method that will suit you. Talking to a specialist, such as psychosocial terapystt, can help you decide if you will benefit from group therapy.