Have you been considering therapy but you’re too afraid to sit one-on-one with a therapist? Do you function better in group scenarios? Would multiple sets of ears help you to feel heard?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, group therapy may be the right choice for you.
The most obvious way that group therapy differs from individual therapy is that an entire group of people is involved versus just you. It can feel like a lot to take in initially but it’s important to remember, everyone is there for a similar reason.
Group therapy is even more foreign to people than individual therapy but just like anything, gets better with practice. Let’s explore a few of the most commonly asked questions about group therapy.
Typically, a group therapy session consists of 6 to 15 people and is led by 1 to 2 therapists. The smaller the group, the more intimate and private. The entire group meets for about 50 minutes or an hour, depending on if the session runs long or not.
Everyone in the group shares a common problem. Some groups are centered around addiction, trauma, abuse, or the sudden loss of a loved one. All in attendance understand that the group environment is accepting and non-judgemental.
Our therapists will be the ones to lead the general discussion and serve as a guide who mediates and monitors. Above all, you should expect a welcoming sense of community from group members.
People new to group therapy are often surprised by its benefits. For one, group members act as a new support network that works to solve problems and offer helpful suggestions while still holding you accountable.
Another benefit lies in the act of regularly speaking about your problems and listening to group members. Sharing your issues can be scary but it’s when you hear others express the same emotions that you realize you are not alone. It can feel like an immense relief.
The diversity of the members in attendance also becomes its own benefit. Each person has their own personality, background, and how they look at situations in life. By hearing how others approach problems, you can learn new problem-solving strategies.
Everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. If you are someone who is not comfortable speaking about personal problems in front of others, group therapy might not be the right fit for you.
For group therapy to work, every group member needs to be willing to engage in discussion, hear deeply personal stories from others, and exercise trust.
If you are someone that wants to break out of your shell and open up, it can be immensely rewarding. Consider every aspect of group therapy before immersing yourself.
Each support group exists to provide guidance on a specific topic. While there are many groups out there, you can expect members to conduct themselves in a similar manner.
Are you interested in trying out group therapy for yourself? Our licensed therapists and counselors in Grand Rapids, MI, can help you enter a group session where support and community are key.