It’s hard to face depression and other mental health problems when you’re alone. Getting through a slump is made more difficult because of the widespread stigma that comes with visiting medical professionals for your psychological health.
But you don’t have any choice, right? If you want to get over your dilemma, you will have to choose to visit a medical professional anyway. It can become uncomfortable when you’re sharing your struggle with a complete stranger. How can you warm up immediately to a person when you’re feeling a lot of emotions?
It’s a relief therefore that group therapy is becoming popular now. “[T]here is the encouragement to both talk about your life outside the group and also to talk about the dynamics within the group.” Psychotherapist Ali Miller, MFT said. The idea of participating in group therapy might seem intimidating. Who wants to share their story with strangers? But what you should be asking is how can group therapy help you. Look no more. We’ll give you a brief overview of what group therapy is and how can it can be a helpful treatment for you.
What Is Group Therapy?
Strength in numbers. This concept does not only apply to sports, but also to therapy. Some people who are going through psychological problems just seek the help of medical professionals to cater to their needs. However, most people only get through by getting support from their family and friends.
This is the reason group therapy can be very beneficial and sometimes be more advantageous compared to individual therapy. Group therapy lets people who are going through the same problem open up to each other thus giving them the idea that they are not alone in their struggles.
Group therapy helps individuals develop their communication and socialization skills, as well as express their issues and accept criticism from others. They also develop self-awareness by listening to others with the same issues.
Unlike individual therapy where the person may be more reluctant to express themselves, group therapy provides a cushion for the person to share their thoughts since people who are listening know what the other person is going through. “Bring the right people into your life.” says Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D.
Joining a group regularly can also keep you accountable for your actions. Through group therapy, people are often asking about their daily activities. If you are already given a solution to your previous dilemma, more often than not, you will prevent this problem from recurring.
How Can Group Therapy Positively Affect Me?
In group therapy, you are grouped with people who share more or less the same sentiments. You can share your experiences and struggles. More often than not, they can help change how you view your problem.
Through their experiences, you get ideas on how you should handle your issues. In group therapy, you can learn a lot from the experiences of other people from different backgrounds. You need not go through the same path again if you already learned about it from another person.
“We only have control of ourselves and our own desire for growth and change. Part of that growth and change is deciding the type of person we allow in our lives, and the positive impact they can have on us.” Nikki Martinez, Psy.D. LCPC said. Participating in group therapy is a rewarding and fulfilling experience. Sharing your lives and experiences with each other can bring about a bond you will not be able to find anywhere else. Moreover, because you are sharing your most profound struggles, sharing is never superficial. You are bound to expose your bare self to other participants in group therapy. As such, you are sure to find lifelong friends along the way.
Benefits of Group Therapy
- Provides support
- Promotes social skills
- Teaches you about yourself
- It can push you forward
- Group therapy costs less than individual counseling
Group therapy has its advantages. However, these do not lead to benefits immediately. People who are new to these kinds of treatment are unable to share their experiences immediately. Upon seeing themselves in other people in the group, one can quickly look at the differences in approaches and mindset. Eventually, upon warming up to these people, they can share more and contribute to a fruitful discussion. The more you contribute, the more you’ll get the most out of your group therapy.
Group therapy can be an ideal choice for addressing your concerns and making positive changes in your life.