Group therapy is the meeting of a collection of individuals with a shared or similar experience. Often clients attend Group Therapy when there is a feeling of isolation and difficulty getting the support they need from friends and family who do not seem to understand the issue from their perspective.
Common types of Group Therapy include sessions for those with problems relating to alcohol, gambling, sex addiction, illnesses, loss and bereavement etc.
A therapist will facilitate the group ensuring it is a safe space for all members to discuss their own individual experiences and what has brought them there. The shared experience often creates a camaraderie in the group and helps people to feel accepted amongst people who understand them.
Group Therapy allows people to both give and receive help in sessions, drawing on each other’s experiences and different perspectives. Clients can use Group Therapy sessions as a way to get comfortable with talking before starting individual counselling, it can be used simultaneously to individual counselling especially in the case of addictions or can be used as a ‘top up’ after counselling has ended.
Some groups will incorporate a buddy system, this is where individual group members pair up and become an additional support network for each other outside of the group session.
Written by Julia Summers