The Many Benefits of Group Therapy
- Kate Pindera
- 29 Jan 2021
The sense of belongingness is a basic human need. This is the reason why group therapy works in many ways for people going through counselling programs. The benefits of group therapy encompass a wide range of problems; it can help people stay clean and it can address any adjacent mental health issues.
In Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, “belonging” is considered as a primal human motivation and a psychological need. It sits on the third top tier, above safety and basic survival needs. Being surrounded by supportive people is indeed a comfort that everyone should have.
This is the main psychological foundation of group therapy and why it is commonly used as a means to aid in recovery programs and treatments. Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy that involves two or more patients and a trained professional leading the sessions. It is delivered in a setting where everyone is encouraged to listen, share, and comment on each other’s experiences. In fact, research shows that helping and listening to others can help you manage your own anxiety.
To learn more about the benefits of group therapy in different practices, continue reading below.
7 Benefits of Group Therapy for Substance Abuse
For some, addiction is rooted in the feeling of isolation. The need to congregate is a powerful therapeutic tool, according to Dr. Irvin D. Yalom, one of the most accomplished research psychologists who focused on the practice of group therapy. He has listed many benefits of group therapy when treating addiction including:
- It allows group members to express their issues and accept criticism from others
- Group members feel less intimidated when sharing experiences
- Group sessions help develop social and communication skills
- The feeling of relatability is enhanced
- The feeling of loneliness and isolation is removed
- Sobriety stories are shared, and group members can push you in doing the same
- Fosters life-long friendships and relationships between the members of the group
7 Group Therapy Benefits for Mental Health Concerns
Psychoeducational group counselling aims to provide information to individuals seeking mental health services. It fosters a humanistic approach to create healthier behavioural patterns, hence improving one’s overall outlook on life.
According to Dr. Yalom’s book, The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy, altruism is present within group sessions, and it improves the self-esteem of each individual participating.
Within group counselling sessions, peer discussions can have a positive impact on the way you perceive future life events. It can help manage stress and manage relationships that contribute to faulty behavioural patterns.
Here are more benefits of group therapy when addressing mental health issues:
- Reduces the wait time for patients who don’t have as much access to mental health care
- All members are encouraged to share experiences for an increased sense of belongingness
- Fosters the development of social and interpersonal skills
- Instillation of hope among peers
- Altruism is practiced by everyone
- Teaches patients a lot about themselves and how they are dealing with the past
- The therapeutic alliance between individuals is heavily felt
5 Benefits of Group Therapy for Trauma & PTSD
Group counselling aims to normalize PTSD symptoms and is widely practiced with clients seeking to cure perceptions of trauma. With this approach, each member of the group will have experienced similar traumatic instances or pasts and they are able to challenge each other in ways that the therapist cannot because of their shared experiences.
Perhaps the most important benefit of group therapy for those experiencing PTSD is validation. They will see that they are not alone in their struggles, and because of this, will be able to practice the skills necessary to openly communicate their feelings and address their trauma.
- Group sessions help in developing supportive and trusting relationships with other people
- When members share their ways of how they are overcoming their traumas, others tend to be inspired and take the same path
- The chance to create deep and long-lasting connections
- A healthy exchange of coping strategies for emotional recovery
- Sharing experiences with other people can help in releasing pent up emotions and anger
Why Group Therapy Works
Being in the right group at the right time is important when using group therapy as a means to deal with issues. The support that each member gets from each other can be the driving force to change behavioural patterns, resulting in enhanced progress.
Therapists and group members are able to create a safe, comfortable space to discuss the problems surrounding their issues. The sharing process develops a high level of trust that encourages each member to be fully honest and involved with one another when working towards their goals. There’s no room for negativity, meaning that everyone is accepting of each other despite their faults.
One of the reasons that make group counselling so effective is how members can act in ways that are true to themselves. The chance to change unproductive and harmful patterns is increased, as everyone is encouraged to give feedback on each other’s progress.
One of the main benefits of group therapy is the chance to practice alternative ways of communicating your experiences to other people. It gives the space to connect to other people outside of families and friendship circles. This strengthens social skills and brings back the chance to trust again.
Experience the Benefits of Group Therapy in Toronto
If you, or anyone close to you, would feel at ease participating in group therapy sessions in Toronto, feel free to call us or send us a message. At Freedom From Addiction, we make sure that each individual is paired with the right group so members feel the highest level of comfort. Our highly trained counsellors lead and deliver sessions that encourage each and everyone to open up.
For more information about our drug addiction treatments, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. A member of our team will get back to you shortly. Contact us today!
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