Group Therapy is a system of therapy wherein individuals facing similar concerns or having similar goals work collaboratively in a collective setup. They are guided by the therapist through active listening and therapeutic processes and techniques to help them overcome the issues and progress towards their goals. The sessions are confidential and open sharing and non-judgmental acceptance are the foundations of the process.
An opportunity to connect and interact with others in similar situations as you, helps people to feel like they are “not the only one” going through this and in effect, they are not alone. It helps heal the sense of alienation or being ‘different’that often accompanies mental and emotional health issues. It is also often an effective antidote to the very common automatic thoughts – “No one understands me” or “You can’t understand me because you do not know what I am going through”.
We exist and function in small (family) and large (community/society) groups and that is often where dysfunction crops up, as the cause or the effect of the problem and often both. A group setup allows participants to explore the inter-personal and social dynamics and develop and practice the necessary coping skills. Group therapy facilitates change at the level of the individual as a whole within themselves and the individual as part of a larger whole.
Group therapy allows people to share and resolve their concerns in a safe environment where they will not be judged, with people who are or have been in the same boat. It provides easy access to empathy and acceptance, which allows the person to go deeper within themselves, face the demons, heal the wounds and see and accept themselves as they are as they strive to make positive change. It provides the participants an opportunity to be part of a ‘team’ which is there to encourage, support and understand as we work towards improving our lives in some way. It also expands their awareness of how others experience and cope with the situation in real life, providing practical learnings, tools and tips of what works and what may not.
Group therapy has been known to be very useful for multiple psychiatric and non-psychiatric concerns including depression, anxiety, addictions, trauma, teenage concerns, adjustment problems, self-development, parenting, building social skills and confidence etc.