According to the American Psychological Association, group therapy involves a psychologist who leads a group of patients in groups with a focus on target problems, including obesity, depression, social anxiety, panic disorder, substance abuse, and chronic pain.
It may also help build social skills and handle low self-esteem, loneliness, and anger.
In short, group therapy is a collective remedy for a group of persons with similar experiences or concerns.
Although it seems a simple concept, it goes far beyond a group meeting and discussions. Seasoned certified therapists are usually in charge of such a session intending to make a significant impact on participants.
But is group therapy ideal? Is it right for you? Will it cause any significant change?
This article focuses on the ups and downs of group therapy. let’s dive in…
Pros of Group Therapy
You don’t feel alone
It’s typical to feel alone and dejected when faced with trauma and related emotional issues.
But in groups, you get to meet with and hear the experiences of people suffering similar concerns. This helps curb the sting, which leaves you feeling alone, ushering a new outlook of life.
There’s a sense of belonging
Knowing the group shares a ‘common’ situation brings in the sense of belonging. Nobody feels outcast because everyone is in it together.
You can expect a whole different level of support from persons who share your experience than those who try to sympathize.
The support and advice you get from this association are often a lot more practical and helpful than others who try to, but may never understand your plight.
You learn more
Of course, with a therapist specially trained for your condition, there’s more to learn about your state than you already do.
Through role-playing, individuals usually learn a whole new lot of strategies without fear of judgment from people who do not think alike. And from the feedback, you’d gradually become more informed.
Expectedly, group therapy is easier on your budget. Unlike a one-on-one meeting, the therapist’s bill is spread across different pockets.
Cons of Group Therapy
While the advantages look convincing, but before you opt-in for group therapy, also consider these disadvantages:
For some, talking in public can be their worse fear. Speaking to the group might be a hard nut for some participants. Even worse, talking about trauma and abuse they experienced with strangers can be overwhelming.
Likely personality clash
The more number in a group, the higher tendency of a personality clash. Besides, it’d be challenging to give typical treatments to everyone in the group equally. A diluted effect is most likely with group therapy.
During a one-on-one session, you can open up and confide in your therapist. Well, that’s what makes most people opt for a therapist. Everyone in the group is a potential ‘breach’ of confidentiality, regardless of the warnings against such.
Individual schedule convenience
Being a group, the schedule may not be equally convenient for all participants. In such settings, a communal time day and time is set. You either make it or miss it.
Is Group Therapy ideal for me?
According to medsignals.com, it may be possible to detox from marijuana, alcohol and nicotine at home, if there’s no psychological addiction.
There’s no one-fit-all answer to this. If you think you need some extra therapeutic support, discuss with your therapist to discuss the options. However, hopefully, the pros and cons above should guide you in making a well-informed decision.