Group therapy is a treatment method aimed at providing support to people experiencing similar mental health issues. With the participation of two or more individuals, group therapy can be conducted online or in person. It allows participants to share their experiences in a safe environment while getting support from others in the same boat.
Research shows that group therapy treatment may be very effective in helping you to recover fast and feel better.
Types of topics covered by group therapy
Group therapy covers various topics while treating different behavioral issues. Listed below are some of the problem areas that group therapy can address in terms of human behavior.
1. Family Issues
Group therapy helps people overcome challenging family dynamics. The topics covered under the group therapy session related to the family issues include:
- Parent and child relationship
- Interaction between siblings
- Feeling support
- Issue of abandonment
2. Substance Abuse
It is also effective at dealing with substance abuse, helping addicts to recognize the triggers that lead to negative behavior. A substance abuse group therapy session covers the following topics:
- Support for substance abuse and goal-setting skills
- Problem-solving through learning and listening to others similar problems
- User’s empowerment through skill learning
- Routine and structure setting.
- Improvement and building relationship
- Collective learning, sharing, and healing through conversation between the group peers
- Token economy
- Community and family support.
Substance abuse therapy sessions are best when held in public places. Holding the group therapy session at their locations provides the subjects with a convenient place to escape into and conclude the session. Moreover, private places are more emotionally charged as compared to public places.
3. Mental Health Conditions
Group therapy also provides treatment for diverse mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, social anxiety, panic disorder etc. The following topics related to mental health are typically included in group therapy when combined with individual therapy for treating mental illnesses:
- A specific mental health education
- Coping skills
- Socializing skills
- Setting boundaries
- Self-esteem and confidence building
- Overcoming fear
- Handling anger
4. Emotional Wellness
Emotional wellness is a person’s ability to handle stress in a positive way and adapt and transform during tough times. Group therapy helps people deal with the challenges they face due to losses. Its topics cover the following:
- Being mindful
- Overcoming stress
- An Increased positive outlook on life
- Developing healthy sleeping habits
- Improving social networking
- Handling losses
Learning to handle the grieving process helps people heal from a loss in a healthy way. Topics conducted in this session include-
- Handling anger
- Guilt conscious
- Saying goodbye
- Looking towards new future
- Coping skills
Why does group therapy help lead a better life?
Group therapy is an effective treatment method and below we have discussed six reasons why it is so helpful in enabling a person lead a better life. Let’s check them out
1. Makes you realize you’re not alone
A group therapy session can help you recognize that others around you are also struggling with similar emotional issues. A member’s progress motivates others to strive to reach their goals. Similarly, the act of sharing experiences with each other gives a sense of empowerment.
2. Facilitates providing and receiving support
Helping someone or getting help from someone helps your brain release dopamine in your body –a feel-good chemical messenger. An increase in dopamine levels may be caused by the hope of cooperating with others.
3. Allows participants to express themselves
It is difficult to express your actual thoughts and needs to others if you are not used to it. Connecting with other group members helps you articulate your original feelings, build self-confidence and empower you to work for positive change. It allows you to state your concern without censor and speak without interruption, which can be healing. Group therapy helps you discover new ways of communicating with others.
4. Helps relate to others in a healthier way
The mental health condition affects your relationship whether you notice it or not. Group therapy provides you with a safe space to interact with other people.
5. Provides a safety net
When suffering from anxiety and depression, it might be difficult for you to speak up and support yourself. Group therapy provides you with an opportunity to speak in a group where your feelings are accepted. It encourages you to challenge yourself, express your needs through self-motivation, and come out of your comfort zone to speak in public.
It is impossible to ignore the negative impact of your mental health condition on you and others around you. Group therapy is an effective and proven way to treat mental health issues that build your self-confidence and give you empowerment. As a result, it enables you to lead a more fulfilling life.