Group therapy is a form of psychosocial treatment where a small group of clients meet regularly to talk, interact, and discuss challenges, problems or issues with each other and with the therapist facilitating the group guides, directs and supports this process.
The group is normally established around a theme or presenting issue such as emotional or over eating, depression, anger, anxiety, trauma, domestic violence and or stress as examples.
Successful groups are those that have group rules and can be either structured with a set program and timetable that runs over an agreed timeframe, such as weekly for 6 weeks. Groups can also be unstructured where the group has established group rules and meets regularly with a therapist to facilitate the exploration of key issues or concerns that are of most importance to the majority of the group participants from the past week or that they are going to face in the coming week.
Some individuals like a combination of individual and group therapy, where others prefer one type or the other.
Benefits of group therapy are:
Group therapy helps you realise you’re not alone – provides you with a frame of reference – a support network that understands and has similar experiences.
Group therapy facilitates giving and receiving support – no one person is the expert and each participant and the therapist have experiences and resources that are shared.
Group therapy helps you find your “voice” – it allows you to be heard and understood, it provides a forum where you are listened to you and supported.
Group therapy helps you relate to others (and yourself) in healthier ways – it provides the opportunity to observe, participate, practice and learn how to manage change and heal.
Group therapy provides a safety net – you have a confidential, safe and focused group of individuals that will accept you and your challenges without judgment or criticism.
Group facilities available include open plan area, meeting room and outdoor work space. Some groups have Therapy Dogs present, while others do not.