Group Therapy – Is It For You?

23rd January 2024

Group Therapy – Is It For You?

Group therapy can be beneficial for people with a wide range of mental health difficulties, including anxiety, depression, and relationship issues.

However, some people feel reluctant to join a therapy group.

Janette Smeeton, CEO at DRCS, looks at the most common concerns and dispels the myths which can prevent people from seeking out these services.

I will be forced to tell everyone my deepest thoughts, feelings, and secrets.

In a group session, you choose what, how much, and when you share information with the other members. This can be as much, or as little, as you feel comfortable with.

After a few sessions you will start to feel connected to, supported by, and more trusting of the leader and members and discussions become more comfortable.

As the group bond develops, you may feel more attached to certain members, and personally begin to feel validated by their listening and feedback.

People will repeat my comments to others outside the group

The therapist(s) facilitating the group will establish the boundaries for the sessions through discussion and agreement with the members of the group, and the importance of maintaining them.

All members agree to a group contract which clearly sets out the standards that are necessary to enable the group members to feel protected and safe. With this in place members are supported to share their thoughts and feelings.

The group leader just provides individual therapy in front of the other members.

The therapist (group leader) encourages the members to speak freely and directly to one another. (It is basically an open interaction forum.)

Although the therapist will participate, interact with group members, make suggestions and interventions (interpretations or suggestions), they do not dominate the discussions.

I’ll never be able to open-up in a group setting as I’m shy

At first you might be nervous, but after a few sessions as trust is built and you feel safe, you will become more comfortable in talking and sharing your experiences openly.

Other group members are genuinely there to support one another and not judge and as common themes emerge you will discover how much you can share, and how much valuable feedback you get.

Group therapy is only for people with severe mental health issues.

Group therapy can be beneficial for people with a wide range of mental health difficulties, including anxiety, depression, and relationship issues.

Group therapy is not as effective as individual therapy.

Everyone is different and therefore make choices to how they engage, however group therapy can be just as effective as individual therapy. The opportunity to receive and give support to other members. Sharing and listening to similar problems in a safe space, increases the belief that change is possible through shared understanding.

Therapists will assess each potential group member before inviting them to join the group. This is to ensure each client who expresses an interest understands how group therapy is delivered and whether this will be helpful to them . It is not uncommon for a client to start in group therapy and then decide to move onto individual therapy afterwards or vice versa.

Other people in the group will judge me.

Group therapy is a safe and supportive environment where everyone is encouraged to share their experiences and support one another. The group therapist is there to facilitate the discussion and ensure everyone feels heard and validated.

How to access group therapy sessions:

Contact DRCS for more information on the following groups:

  • Online Anxiety and Stress Management Course.
  • Online Postnatal Wellbeing Course - for depression and anxiety.
  • Online Mindfulness Course - Mindfulness based cognitive behaviour therapy for recurrent depression.

For further information on how you get an appointment with DRCS click here.

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