-Mayah Taylor, MA
Group therapy is often a least considered type of therapy. It can seem intimidating at first thought. Some reasons why are, we do not want to share our problems with others, we feel afraid of speaking in front of a group of people, or we are fearful of how people will perceive or judge us. The truth is, group therapy can be very helpful to you. Even more helpful than you would think. Group therapy can be used to help those struggling with a variety of issues just as individual counseling would, but also adds some additional unique benefits that you can’t get with individual therapy. The holiday season can be a stressful time of year and for some can aggravate the mental health struggles that already exist. It’s a peak time of year for those seeking mental health treatment. So why not treat yourself this year to what can possibly be the best Christmas gift ever and set yourself on the path to recovery and wellness. What can group therapy possibly offer you?
For the socially awkward or lonely person, groups can be a great opportunity to not only work through your struggles but give you a space to engage with or practice engaging with people. Participating in group can be an eye opening experience in showing you how you engage with people.
Group therapy can be a safe space to learn about yourself. While you participate in group, you will notice that others serve as mirrors that reflect aspects of yourself that you can recognize and be made aware of, and even choose to modify or change. Group therapy can be a place to learn and practice acceptance of yourself and to allow yourself an opportunity for personal experimentation.
Group therapy provides a unique opportunity to meet other people who are dealing with similar issues as you that can help you realize you’re not alone. Groups in and of themselves are unique as they can be geared to help with specific life events like grief and loss or with specific mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
Sometimes when we have others there beside us as we face our problems, our motivation for recovering and working through our problems can become stronger. Having others around you in group therapy offers support and encouragement from the other group members. This allows them to serve in a Cheerleading role which can provide you with positive reinforcement as you actively work toward your goals. Let’s be honest, change is hard. The good news is, you don’t have to face your challenges alone. Group therapy provides accountability in the nicest way possible. Individuals hold space for you to share your struggles and successes, find humor in the little things, and feel the empathy necessary for you to “feel normal” and keep moving on.
Group therapy offers many benefits that sets it apart from individual therapy. Among its benefits are the improvement of social skills, learning about who you are, increasing your motivation for change, and getting to know others who are struggling just like you. This can be the perfect Christmas to give to yourself to begin your journey of change, recovery, and wellness. There are many groups offered in your community and many can be found online as well. If you have tried individual therapy or other types of therapy with no success, group therapy might be the perfect gift for you! I encourage you to think about what you truly want this Christmas. Peace? Hope? Love? Joy? Group therapy can provide all these things and more. You just need to give it a chance!
We hope to see you in group therapy soon! Share your journey, find your tribe. Let us know what you think. What benefits did you notice with group therapy?