Groups of about 6 to 12 people meet to work on a common issue or goal. Participants improve from therapist insight as well as from observing others in the group and receiving feedback from group members. Typically group sessions last about 90 minutes and can be held for a specific number of weeks or can be ongoing. Group counseling focuses on skill building, creating practical improvements in people’s lives and developing internal insight. Groups are often focused on a common theme or goal such as conscious dating, skills, increasing self-esteem, getting through divorce, increasing effective parenting skills, empowerment for girls, exploring personal creativity, increasing healthful habits, healthy sexuality, etc. Cost for group therapy is less than half the price of individual therapy.
Some benefits of group therapy:
- You recognize that other members share similar feelings, thoughts and problems. You realize that you are not alone in your feelings and concerns.
- You gain a boost to self concept through extending help to other group members. Helping others is a good feeling and is therapeutic in and of itself.
- You recognize that other members’ success can be helpful to you and help develop optimism and hope for your own improvement.
- You learn from the advice given by the therapist and other group members.
- You can reenact critical relationship dynamics with group members, learning how to interact with others better.
- The group provides you with an environment that fosters good communication and the development of socializing techniques. Since so much of our daily interaction with other people, you can learn to improve your social skills.
- You expand your personal knowledge and skills through the observation of other group members as they explore themselves, work through problems and develop themselves personally. By seeing how others handle similar problems, you can rapidly add new coping methods to your behaviors.
- The group experiences feelings of trust, belonging and togetherness, fostering cohesiveness.
- You learn to accept responsibility for life decisions through observing the other group members and through working through your own problems.
- You can release strong feelings about past or present experiences. These feelings build up continual stress, and you will feel great relief in resolving this stress.
- You gain personal insight about your impact on others through feedback provided from other members. We often do not realize how our behavior affects others, and the group is an effective way to learn and modify our behavior.
- The group provides an environment that allows members to learn from each other and interact in a more adaptive manner.
- You gain self-understanding and insight into psychological motivations underlying your behavior and emotional reactions.