What are the Benefits of Group Therapy?

With so many types of individual therapy to choose from, why might you consider group therapy? Group therapy has its own unique strengths and purposes that can be a supplement to individual therapy, or some people may prefer it. Here are a few benefits and reasons to consider group therapy:

  • Cost: Group therapy is often much more affordable than individual therapy and may also be covered by insurance/benefit plans.

  • Community: Some people find that healing happens within community and connection with others. Having a supportive group as you move through the therapeutic process can be very beneficial for some. You might also feel isolated, and group therapy can bring you into a community of people with shared identities and offer a sense of belonging.

  • Shared Experiences: Some people feel validated and normalized by being in a group of people who may have some similar experiences or reasons for seeking therapy. It can be a huge relief to feel like you are in a group of people who get what you have experienced, think, or feel.

  • Feedback: Being in a group means that you can get feedback and hear differing perspectives and creative ideas from group participants and facilitators. This may be beneficial for problem solving, developing self-awareness, or practicing new skills.

  • Being Witnessed: Group therapy can offer the unique experience of being witnessed in your experiences. Sometimes, we need to be seen and have our struggles, pain, or growth witnessed and acknowledged by others.

  • Relationships: Healing can happen within relationships. Group therapy offers many relationships in which to potentially have corrective emotional experiences and learn and practice relationship skills. Some participants may choose to keep in contact with one another after the group and find these relationships to be sources of support long after the group concludes.

  • Accountability: Some people find that attending group sessions helps them to be accountable to meeting their own needs and goals. There may be a sense of being a team that supports individual and group accountability.

 

Although there are many benefits to group therapy, it may not be the best fit for everyone’s unique situation. Deep processing of specific experiences or individual skill building might be better suited to individual therapy, where the focus is entirely on you and your needs. Some people may also feel uncomfortable or too vulnerable to share their experiences in a group, and there is also the risk that some group members may not take confidentiality as seriously as counsellors do.

 

Group therapy, however, can be a wonderful part of your healing journey and may create lasting supportive relationships that extend beyond the final group session.

 

Want to learn more about group therapy and see if it is the right fit for you? Book a free consultation or group intake session to discuss your options with a counsellor.

 

References & Further Reading

American Psychological Association. (2019, October 31). Psychotherapy: Understanding group therapy. https://www.apa.org/topics/psychotherapy/group-therapy

Corey, M. S., Corey, G., & Corey, C. (2018). Groups: Process and practice (10th ed.). Cengage Learning.

Pappas, S. (2023, March 1). Group therapy is as effective as individual therapy, and more efficient. Here’s how to do it successfully. Monitor on Psychology, 54(2). https://www.apa.org/monitor/2023/03/continuing-education-group-therapy

Yalom, I., & Leszcz, M. (2008). The theory and practice of group psychotherapy (5th ed.). Basic Books.

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