Group therapy has been used as a way of dealing with health problems and personal issues. These group therapies or support groups aim to find strength in numbers and to let you know that you are not the only one in your battle. “There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression.” That is according to Chris Corbett, PsyD. It may sound intimidating at first, but group therapy has been proven to improve the mental health and well-being of patients who join the said program. It opens you to new ideas and gives you a whole new perspective on your illness. But what are the benefits of joining a group therapy, and how could we encourage more people to join them? Benefits of Joining Group Therapy
“Today, more people are making psychotherapy a part of their self-care practice. In the same way they have personal trainers, they are investing in therapists — and that’s a good thing.” Robin D. Stone, LMHC said. In Psychotherapy, one of the things you can consider is joining a group therapy. Usually, it involves a psychologist and a group of 15 or more patients. These patients are all strangers, but all with a familiar battle to face. The sessions usually last for an hour or so and can be done on a weekly schedule. Through support groups, people who experience pain can share their battles with others and find that they are not alone in this journey. They begin creating networks and connections, even finding more common grounds than just their illnesses. By starting to learn different perspectives from people with the same pain, patients get a glimpse of what they could do more, and what they need to do less. Because of this, positive changes happen, and you find companionship which helps you get through your problems. There is a unity in diversity; a collection of different people with different backgrounds and personalities, but all uniting to fight their battles positively. Encouraging People To Share
Encouraging people to join support groups may be challenging, especially if the person is not the type to open up quickly. However, it is essential to let them know and make them realize that this option can be helpful for them. It is common to feel anxious and uncomfortable at first few times since you are meeting people you possibly haven’t met before. However, talking about more than just your illness can pave the way for more positive engagements within the group. Your hobbies, job, family, and even what shows you watch can help you and others in connecting more. “[T]here is encouragement to both talk about your life outside the group and also to talk about the dynamics within the group.” Psychotherapist Ali Miller, MFT explains.
The risk is always there whenever you are joining group therapies, and it is normal to be cautious when sharing information at first. You can set your boundaries early but learn to ease and relax them as you go on. You will find that others will take your lead and follow as well. You can also try to open up about your immediate concerns first since undisclosed feelings can lead to more difficulties. Learn to overcome your fear of uncertainty and judgment. While it is not an easy thing to do, joining group therapies can yield positive results for most people. However, it is still important to consult with your doctor first about joining a support system. Your doctor can recommend groups which will suit you better, and help you adjust to the environment.