People are “connected” more than ever these days – social media, texting, video conferencing and even old-fashioned email help us continue to be available to family, friends and coworkers at all times. Distance learning and working from home allows us to manage overloaded schedules and possibly even get to the gym.
And yet, more and more there is a nagging sense of isolation and low self-esteem amongst so many of us. We see tidbits of others’ lives and decide in isolation that we don’t measure up; something is missing or we are doing something wrong. Social media cannot deliver the quality community experience most humans desire. And text messages peppered with emojis does not provide the mirroring and connection we need. Luckily, group therapy can be an in-person antidote to the detached lives we lead.
The Basics of Group Therapy
In group therapy, a small number of people (typically 6-10) sit in a circle with a specially trained group therapist. The group leader facilitates a confidential and brave environment as members discuss their desires, fears, life successes and challenges. Members are encouraged to focus less on the content of what is shared than on their own thoughts and feelings as they arise in response to what is shared. This teaches members to communicate in an emotionally healthy way and over time form deep relationships with other group members. Eventually, the skills learned in group can be employed in members’ external lives and they are able to foster healthier, more joyful relationships.
And while individual therapy is extremely useful, there are several unique advantages to group therapy.
5 Advantages of Group Therapy
1. The Healing Power of Collective Effort
Group therapy is a living testimony to the belief that “we are all in the same boat.” As described by Dr. Irvin D. Yalom, in his landmark book, The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy, the Principle of Universality is at play. You are part of a group of people who are working together on similar issues. This helps you recognize that you are definitely not alone and that some concerns are universal. There can be an incredible amount of comfort in such realizations.
2. Getting a Wide Range of Diverse Perceptions
While you may worry that you will not get enough attention in a group setting, you may actually enjoy the benefit of hearing a diverse range of feedback. In such an environment, you will learn to see your struggles through new eyes. Each member brings with them a unique set of life experiences and viewpoints. Rather than engage solely in a one-on-one discussion, you will gain strength and wisdom from the power of the collective.
3. Routine vs. Isolation
Group meetings can be the antidote to feeling isolated. Committing to group therapy provides you with many related benefits, e.g.
- The comfort of routine and connections with the same people, in the same place, at the same time every week
- The solace of being surrounded and supported by others ready and willing to do the work required to improve the quality of their lives
- Having something proactive and productive to depend on and a foundation on which to build
4. The Power of Helping and Giving
There is healing to be found in acts of kindness. As a group member, you will find yourself working hard to help others. It is an empowering experience to witness in real time the impact you make on another member’s growth. In addition, as you watch others make progress, you will find yourself modeling their growth and applying it to your life.
5. Group Therapy is Very Affordable!
Group therapy fees are much lower than fees for a top-notch individual therapist. It makes it easier to commit to weekly treatment and ensure you get the care you may need. You garner quality care at a price you can afford. A win-win!
Getting Started is Just a Click or Call Away!
It’s understandable that you are careful about where and how you take care of your personal wellbeing. More information regarding group therapy can be found here: group therapy. Furthermore, if you’re curious to learn whether group therapy is right for you — or if I’m the right therapist for your needs — please contact me for a free 20-minute phone consultation at 917-873-0506 or via the contact form on this website.