Meeting other people who are dealing with something similar and hearing their story has always had a very comforting effect. It not only lets people know that they’re not alone, but also gives them a broader perspective on the issue they are facing. Things like depression or bereavement can be really isolating and make you feel like you’re facing the world alone. Group counselling can be a good way of getting over those feelings of isolation, and realizing there are other people in the same boat.
It can also be easier to talk to people who share the same issue. They can understand how you feel a bit more than family members or friends who haven’t had firsthand experience of the problem you’re dealing with.
Let’s look at some advantages of Group Therapy:
- Group therapy provides a chance for people to look in the mirror.
Therapy sessions are most often needed to express and let go of negative thoughts, actions, or behaviors. At times, when an individual is trapped in this cycle of negativity, it can be difficult to express exactly what they feel. By seeing others with similar thinking patterns, it can become possible to address or express a personal negative cycle by seeing similar cycles in others.
- There is often less judgment in a group therapy session.
Within a group therapy session, there is more sympathy and less judgment because there is a greater understanding of the thinking cycles and behavioral choices. Even if there are outbursts or destructive behavior, judgment levels are much lower. It also adds an additional layer of comfort if the individual has a certain level of ‘anxiety’ towards opening up with the therapist, fearing that he/she may be judged.
- It is a chance to benefit from practical wisdom.
Therapists can create the foundation required to take necessary forward steps on almost any issue. The process of taking the actual steps, however, is wisdom that can only be provided by someone who has already “been there” and “done that.” Group therapy allows people to benefit from the wisdom of others who have had similar struggles, but found a way to overcome them to reach their goals. This type of information can be invaluable to those who feel like they are struggling.
- It can help to develop healthy coping skills.
Many people are under the delusion that they have developed coping skills, but in reality that they’ve really done is developed a “distraction” skill. Listening to music might calm a person down, but it doesn’t address the core issues that led to uncomfortable thoughts or decisions in the first place. Group therapy provides a place where the option to run away is virtually eliminated. That makes it easier for a person to determine which coping mechanisms can work well for them.
- It can create a sense of belonging.
In today’s world, it is very common for a person to feel like an outsider (Irony). Opinionated comments are everywhere. Within the confines of a group setting, there are similar mental issues that are being addressed. There are similar social issues being discussed. Group therapy becomes a place where a person feels like they can finally be understood. It gives them a space to open up without the fear of being judged.