Just what is group therapy?
In group therapy, five to ten people meet face-to-face with one or more trained group therapists and talk about what is triggers or circumstances that brought them into care. Members often give feedback to each other by expressing their own feelings about what someone says or does. This interaction gives group members an opportunity to try out new ways of behaving and to learn more about the way they interact with others. What makes the situation unique is that it is a closed and safe system. The content of the group sessions is confidential; what members talk about or disclose is not discussed outside the group.
The first few sessions of a group usually focus on the establishment of trust. During this time, members work to establish a level of trust that allows them to talk personally and honestly. Group trust is achieved when all members make a commitment to the group.
Why does group therapy work?
When people come into a group and interact freely with other group members, they usually recreate those difficulties that brought them to group therapy in the first place. Under the skilled direction of a group therapist, the group is able to give support, offer alternatives, or gently confront the person. In this way the difficulty becomes resolved, alternative behaviors are learned, and the person develops new social techniques or ways of relating to people. During group therapy, people begin to see that they are not alone. Many people feel they are unique because of their problems, and it is encouraging to hear that other people have similar difficulties. In the climate of trust provided by the group, people feel free to care about and help each other.
The benefits of group therapy often include:
• An increased sense of support and connectedness
• A decrease in self-criticism and negativity
• Renewed hope in one’s own abilities.
• Increased resourcefulness in finding solutions
• Greater ease in identifying feelings and self-disclosure
• A deepened trust for oneself and one’s instincts
• More confidence in trying out possible solutions
Types of groups avaiable at The Next Step Behavioral Health
Groups can be customized to meet the emerging needs and demands of our clients (parents skills training & support, anger management/coping skills, Trumatic Event Support, etc..)