Psychotherapy is an effective treatment for a range of mental and behavioral health problems. Although many people think of psychotherapy as taking place on a one-on-one basis, with only a client and clinician in the room, group therapy can be an ideal choice for certain mental health issues. Understanding what to expect from group therapy can help you prepare to get the most out of your experience.
What Is Group Therapy?
Just like its name suggests, group therapy involves receiving professional psychotherapy services in a group setting. Group therapy is more than just a support group. Support groups are often run by a layperson, allowing members to discuss common difficulties or shared experiences. Although support groups can be a fantastic source of comfort for members, they do not focus on providing evidence-based treatments for psychological or social problems.
In contrast, group therapy sessions are led by mental health professionals with specialized training. The focus of group therapy is learning new skills or strategies for dealing with challenging life situations. For instance, a social skills group might focus on reviewing proven techniques for managing social anxiety and communicating effectively with others.
Benefits of Group Therapy
Group therapy has myriad benefits that make it an ideal choice for people facing certain challenges. Some of the biggest benefits of group therapy include:
- Realizing you are not alone. When you are struggling, it can be incredibly powerful to hear other people voicing the same fears and frustrations that you are experiencing. Many people starting group therapy for the first time say that this is one of the most beneficial aspects of the treatment.
- Giving and receiving support. Group therapy allows you to practice giving support to other people as well as receiving support when you are struggling.
- Getting honest feedback. When you have been struggling with a problem for a long time, it can be difficult to view the situation objectively. Group therapy allows you to get honest, gentle feedback that can help you view your life in a new light.
- Feeling empowered to try something new. The group therapist will help you learn new skills and proven strategies to help you regain balance in your life. A group provides a safe, comfortable environment in which to try these new strategies without feeling too vulnerable.
What to Expect From Group Therapy
Your first visit to group therapy may feel daunting, so it is helpful to know what to expect. Typically, groups range in size from 5 to 15 members. Your therapy group will likely meet for one to two hours per week.
During group therapy, group members take turns sharing updates or relevant experiences. The group therapist will facilitate the conversation, drawing out members who are quieter and encouraging people to be honest but respectful. You may learn about specific skills or exercises, which may include “homework” to practice new skills in your everyday life.
Group Therapy Services at Sunrise Behavioral Health Clinic
At Sunrise Behavioral Health Clinic, we offer group therapy services for a range of issues. When you first come to the clinic, we will assess whether you would benefit most from individual psychotherapy, group therapy, or a combination of the two. We can help to match you to the group that will best fit your unique needs. Some of our therapy groups include:
- Substance abuse
- Social skills training
- Trauma and PTSD
- Men’s group
- Women’s group
- Peer support
Sunrise Behavioral Health Clinic offers groups in English and Spanish. Contact us today, and we will work with you to find the group or individual therapy experience that best fits your needs.