Talking with a therapist, psychiatrist or a psychologist is one of the most common ways to begin the mental health treatment process. No matter what the issue, talk therapy is almost always a part of the treatment plan. Group psychotherapy is one of the common forms of talk therapy.
Rather than meeting one on one with a mental health treatment professional, patients meet in groups that are run by a therapist.
Through this process, patients can benefit from the guidance and assistance provided by the mental health treatment provider as well as the experiences and issues facing others in the group who struggle with similar issues.
What Are the Benefits of Group Psychotherapy?
There are a number of benefits for patients who attend group psychotherapy sessions, including:
- The ability to build connections with people who understand the struggle of living with substance abuse issues or co-occurring disorders
- A chance to share problems and get a number of perspectives in response, including the guidance of a mental health treatment professional
- The ability to vent frustrations in an appropriate forum
- Learning from the mistakes and successes of others living with similar struggles
Who Can Benefit From Group Psychotherapy?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, group therapy has been proven to be extremely effective in the treatment of those living with borderline personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse. In fact, the list of disorders that will be successfully managed through the use of group psychotherapy as part of a comprehensive mental health treatment plan include:
- Eating disorders
- Anxiety disorders
- Compulsive behavior issues (e.g., shopping, sex, etc.)
- Personality disorders
What Skills Can Patients Take Away From Group Psychotherapy?
Depending upon the focus of the group, different skills may be prioritized. Some common ones include:
- Managing or relieving stress
- Identifying trigger issues or situations and creating a plan to avoid them or deal with them when necessary
- Learning better communication skills
- Learning conflict resolution skills
- Processing trauma
- Learning how to deal with physical ailments that result from the primary disorder
- Handling major life changes
What Happens at a Group Psychotherapy Session?
In some cases, you may enter into a psychotherapy group that is ongoing, and in other cases, you may enroll in a new eight-week or 12-week psychotherapy group to explore a particular issue. If it is the first session for everyone, the provider will go over the focus of the group, introduce himself and his experience as a therapist, and allow participants to share a little bit about themselves and their personal experience with the disorder. If you are new to the group, the therapist may touch on these same topics briefly, and then move forward. In some cases, the provider may choose a topic of discussion to get started and talk about your goals in terms of addressing that topic in your life. For example, if the psychotherapy group is for people struggling with an eating disorder and the topic is on eating out healthfully, he may offer a short presentation and then open up the session for group discussion so participants can share their perspectives, tips and challenges.
Do You Have Questions About Group Psychotherapy?
Contact us at Futures today and get answers about group psychotherapy as well as other important substance abuse and co-occurring disorder treatment services. Our counselors are standing by to help you determine what you need therapeutically to heal.