Group counseling or therapy is a form of psychotherapy in which one or more psychologists work with several people simultaneously. You can find this type of therapy in different settings, including hospitals, private therapeutic practices, community centers, and mental health clinics. Most of the time, group counseling is integrated into a comprehensive treatment plan that includes individual therapy, but it is sometimes used alone. At first, the idea of participating in group counseling Phoenix may seem intimidating since it involves sharing stories with strangers. However, group counseling has several advantages.
Groups can propel you forward.
Being in a group means you are in the company of other people with similar problems. When one member successfully copes with a problem, it serves as motivation or hope for other group members. Therefore, one person’s progress also benefits others who might still be in the thick of things. Group members can serve as role models, and this can help foster feelings of success and accomplishment.
Hearing from others with similar issues helps you see that you are not the only one experiencing a challenge. You feel supported and encouraged by people with problems that relate to yours. The setting of group counseling or therapy also allows people to practice behavior and actions in the safety of the group.
Promotes social skills
Besides easing the sense of isolation, groups offer an opportunity to practice re-engaging with people. When in a group, the therapist notes how each individual responds to others and their behavior in social situations. Using this information, the therapist can provide helpful information that improves each one’s social skills.
Who needs group counseling?
Group counseling or therapy can benefit anyone who needs support and guidance. Specialists use this form of psychotherapy to treat various conditions, including:
- Eating disorders
- Panic disorder
- Substance use disorders
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Besides mental health problems, group counseling can help cope with:
- Chronic pain
- Chronic illness
- Chronic stress
- Anger management
- Grief and loss
- Weight management
- Domestic violence
Things to consider before group counseling
Sharing is necessary
Group therapy involves discussing or sharing some information with other people. Group therapy might not suit you if you struggle with social anxiety. Additionally, some types of group therapy involve activities like intense personal discussion and role-playing; this can be overwhelming for someone uncomfortable around strangers or highly private.
It is not suitable for a crisis.
Not everyone is a good candidate for group therapy; this form of therapy may is not recommended for someone in a crisis or having suicidal thoughts. In such cases, individual therapy is a better choice. Generally, group settings are best suited for individuals who are not currently in crisis.
You need to try several groups
The first group you join is less likely to be the one that fits you best. Therefore, you may need to try a few before finding one that is right for you. When looking for a group, consider what you need and what might be the most comfortable for you.
If you want to learn more about group counseling, consult your therapist at the 2nd Chance Treatment Center.