At Carolina Counseling Professionals, Group therapy provides psychotherapy treatment in a format where there is typically one therapist and four to eight participants with related problems. Sometimes a therapist may recommend group therapy over individual psychotherapy for a variety of reasons. It may be that the group format is better suited for the person or the concern they are dealing with, or that the specific type of treatment has a group therapy component.
People in group therapy improve not only from the interventions of the therapist, but also from observing others in the group and receiving feedback from group members. The group format, while not providing the one-on-one attention of individual formats, has several advantages.
Similar to family therapy, group therapy is a style that can incorporate any of the psychotherapy schools. The advantages of group therapy include:
- Increased feedback
Group therapy can provide the patient with feedback from other people. Getting different perspectives is often helpful in promoting growth and change.
By seeing how others handle similar problems, the patient can rapidly add new coping methods to his or her behaviors. This is beneficial in that it can give the patient a variety of perspectives on what seem to work and when.Example
Mary listens to Joan talk about how telling her husband that he hurt her feelings was more productive than simply getting angry at him and not speaking. As she listens, Mary thinks of how she might try this same strategy with her husband. She can then try out this new behavior by practicing with the men in the group.
- Less expensive
By treating several patients simultaneously, the therapist can reduce the usual fee. In most cases the cost of group therapy is about one-third that of individual therapy.
- Improve social skills
Since so much of our daily interaction is with other people, many people learn to improve their social skills in group therapy (even though such an issue may not be the focus of the group). The group leader, a therapist, often helps people to learn to communicate more clearly and effectively with one another in the group context. This is inevitably leads to people learning new social skills.
At Carolina Counseling Professionals, most people who try group therapy do become comfortable and familiar with the process over a short period of time (within a few weeks). There are clinicians and researchers who also claim that the group psychotherapy process produces stronger and longer-lasting results for many people, as compared to individual psychotherapy.