5 benefits of group therapy

5 Benefits of Group Therapy

Group therapy is a type of psychotherapy that is often used for individuals who are battling addiction. A group therapy session involves one or two therapists working with various clients simultaneously.

This therapy method aims to relieve distress by discussing and expressing feelings openly. This helps to change attitudes, behaviors, and habits that may not be unhelpful to the person participating. Group therapy promotes constructive ways of coping. Some groups focus on providing individuals with information about certain issues or teaching them coping skills. 

This type of therapy typically involves around 12 members, including the therapist, that meet one to two hours a week. All members sit in a way that enables each person to be seen and heard. The therapist aids in each group session by guiding the process and providing structure for a more constructive therapy session. 

Types of Group Therapy

Group therapy comes in many forms. How therapy is administered will depend on the goals. With that said, there are two main types of groups: process-oriented and psychoeducational.

Process-Oriented Groups

A major goal of process-oriented groups is the interpersonal experience between group members. Process-oriented groups focus on members opening up, which can be a challenge. But it also leads to individual growth as members gain a sense of belonging and acceptance among their peers. 

The foundation of a process-oriented group may be on a shared issue in the members’ lives, such as addiction. But it can also be based on the interactions that arise within the group. 

Process-oriented groups often have a flexible structure and agenda for each session. The agenda is typically set by the members themselves, with the therapist facilitating each session. 

Psychoeducational Groups

A psychoeducational group is more focused on sharing information on a specific topic or teaching the members skills. For instance, a psychoeducational group therapy session may provide members with techniques to manage their anger. 

In this group, the relationship between the members isn’t necessarily important. But, members may find value in connecting with some of the members within the group that have a shared experience. 

Common Types of Group Therapy Sessions

Group therapy can be further broken down into groups dealing with similar problems, though not always. Some therapy sessions are very specific to certain populations, while other therapy sessions may be more general.

Here are some common types of group therapy sessions: 

  • Substance abuse 
  • Grief
  • PTSD
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Eating disorder
  • Caregiving

Group Therapy vs Individual Therapy 

Group therapy and individual therapy have quite a few similarities. But, they are still two different types of therapies. Individual therapy occurs when one person is in a therapy session with a counselor, psychologist, therapist, or psychiatrist.

Group therapy offers a more loosely defined structure that occurs when more than one person is treated together in a therapeutic environment. 

5 Benefits of Group Therapy 

Group therapy sessions offer a variety of rewarding benefits to its members. Group therapy helps build social and communication skills, develop a sense of self-awareness, and provides a safe environment for members to learn and grow. Here is a closer look at some of the many benefits of group therapy:

A Safe Space to Thrive

Everyone deserves a safe space. This is especially important for those who may be dealing with addiction. A safe environment is one of the major benefits of attending group therapy. While group therapy encourages you to speak, you do not have to open up until you are comfortable. 

However, listening to others talk about their challenges can make it easier for the participant to open up. In addition, group therapy promotes that what is discussed in the group remains. This can make it easier for participants to open up about their feelings in a safe, secure, and comfortable environment. 

Opportunity to Learn from Others

Another benefit of group therapy is that it allows people to learn from others. In an individual group session, it is only the patient and the therapist. In group therapy, participants get the invaluable experience of learning about themselves through hearing about other members’ struggles. 

Other members of group therapy will likely have similar challenges to you. For this reason, group therapy sessions can be beneficial for gaining insight that participants may not have been able to receive otherwise. 

Allow You to be Heard

It’s not always easy for a person to use their voice and vocalize feelings or emotions. As people go through struggles, it can be hard to communicate feelings effectively. Regularly attending group therapy sessions can help participants find and use their voice comfortably with practice. 

Group therapy sessions focus on providing a safe space for all members to communicate without judgment openly. As a result, members can speak freely without stress and anxiety that may be experienced under different circumstances. 

Promote Social Skills

The nature of group therapy allows participants to build important social skills that will help them communicate and build confidence. By continuously engaging in the group, participants can practice being in different social situations that may normally cause anxiety. 

This is especially an excellent benefit for those who deal with social anxiety and depression. Group therapy can help individuals not be so withdrawn and challenge them to get out of their comfort zones. In addition, this format can help break cycles that make it difficult to socialize with others. 

More Affordable than Individual Therapy

Affordability is often a common roadblock for those who want to gain therapeutic benefits. Even if affordability isn’t an issue, many people enjoy the advantage of having access to more affordable therapy sessions.

When compared to individual therapy, group therapy is a more cost-effective solution. Even better, group therapy is just as effective as attending an individual therapy session. 

Addiction Treatment with Southern California Sunrise Recovery Center

Group therapy is a powerful tool for those dealing with addiction that can be used to enhance their quality of life. Here at Southern California Sunrise Recovery Center, we support individuals dealing with addiction through various services. We provide comprehensive rehab services, which include group counseling sessions, individual counseling, experimental therapy, and more. Contact us today to learn more about services and how we can support you.

Clinically Reviewed By

Dawn Masick, LMFT

Dawn has experience dealing with various relational, emotional, and psychological struggles. Dawn’s training has prepared her to work with children, teens, young adults, adults, couples, and families. She has undergone training in DBT, TF-CBT, and Family Therapy.  Other competencies include dealing with ADHD, mood/anxiety disorders, parenting challenges, addiction, PTSD, co- dependency, and relationship issues. I have experience in residential, school-based mental health, children’s community mental health, victims of crime (VOC), and private practice settings.

Dawn has been committed to guiding clients through their trauma, coming alongside them in their healing, and supporting them as they navigate life changes. Dawn’s passion is working with clients struggling with trauma in substance abuse and mental health.