When you picture group therapy, perhaps you’re imagining a large circle of strangers. The idea of sharing in this group can be intimidating and uncomfortable. The realities of group therapy, however, are quite different. Being in a group is one of the most rewarding things you can experience. Your group (of under 10 people) is a safe place to grow, learn, and feel connection. Your group is a private and confidential setting to experience and to change.
Being a part of a group may be the best space for you to explore your understanding of self and begin a journey of growth. If you’re unsure whether to engage in group or individual therapy, I encourage you to consider these benefits of being involved in a group:
As always, please get in touch if you need support or would like to find out more.
It amplifies your therapeutic experience
For many of us, we feel very alone in our entanglements. You may also fall into the trap of believing it is only you who could be experiencing such a situation. Group therapy brings you together with others who are in a similar or relatable place. Within the group, you are given the opportunity to view yourself in a mirror. As you engage with others in the group, they reflect aspects of yourself. You are then able to recognise yourself and choose if you want to pursue change. The group also helps you to engage with alternative experiences or reflections. These may be issues you may not have come across without others bringing them into the discussion. This provides you with ongoing opportunities to grow and interpret your place in the world.
It helps you build community connections
It can be frustratingly difficult to find your place in a community. You may have struggled to make real connections with people when you initially moved. Or found it challenging to build new social and community connections when you found your situation changed. Being a part of a group encourages the building of networks within your community. These networks build social capital for everyone in the group, giving you relationships of trust and mutual understanding to draw from. As the group is a safe space, it becomes a microcosm of the greater community, which simply means it is a miniature representation of the community at large. This in turn enables you to be better equipped to engage in your community from your group experiences.
It helps you to feel less isolated
Even when surrounded by people, it is easy to feel isolated or alone. Group therapy gives you the opportunity to engage and connect with people on a deep level. Through mutual experiences of growth, reflection and hardship, you’re able to forge long-lasting relationships with others.
Your group is not just a place to receive individual therapy and listen to others do the same. It is a place of mutual support, feedback and connection. When you share, others engage and share their encounters too, connecting you all through joint experience. Even without any interaction outside the group, knowing that each week you have a safe and intimate place to encounter and relate to people will help you feel more connected.
You’re supported to build greater self-awareness
Without a safe space for continued reflection, it can be difficult to develop and grow your self-awareness. Being a part of a group encourages you to continually reflect on your feelings and reactions when interacting with others. This ultimately helps you to better understand yourself. The relational nature of groups provides support for you in this journey of growth. Together you and your fellow group members learn, reflect and discover new paths of moving forward.
I’d really encourage you to consider if joining a therapeutic group is for you. Give yourself permission to seek connection, support and better self-understanding. You can read more about the aims and intentions of my group work here. As always, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if this article resonates with you in light of your situation.