WHAT IS GROUP THERAPY?
Group therapy involves the gathering of a group of people for psychotherapy focusing on a similar issue. Relationships and interpersonal interactions are often an additional focus of group therapy. Group therapy is different from self-help and support groups in that the leader has specific training in psychotherapy, including in teaching strategies, helping members process their experiences, and providing guidance to members within the group setting.
WHAT ARE GROUP THERAPY
Group therapy sessions usually occur regularly and last from 60 - 120 minutes and may occur in-person or virtually. The duration, schedule and agenda of each specific group will be published before the group begins. Groups can be closed (the same members meet for each session) or open (new members are allowed to join and current members can end at any time). Group members may not know each other and are usually screened for fit prior to the group beginning. Some people attend individual therapy in addition to groups, while others participate in groups only.
Amy often includes mindfulness and expressive techniques in group offerings, such as meditation practices, art making, and writing. Many groups are designed to target a specific problem, such as depression, anxiety, serious illnesses, parenting, and coping with life's changes, while others are focused on self-development and wellness. A key component discussed at the start of each group is confidentiality, in which members are asked to agree to maintaining the confidentiality of the information shared by others during sessions.
WHO BENEFITS FROM GROUP THERAPY?
Group therapy can be beneficial on its own or in addition to individual therapy work. Group members often provide support to each other and group therapy may help you feel less alone. Group therapy has been shown to help people build on their skills of talking and listening to others, practice strategies within the group setting before implementing in their daily lives, with processing their thoughts and feelings in a safe supportive environment, and gaining valuable feedback and insight from other members. While most members have things in common with one another, it is also helpful that groups often include people of diverse backgrounds.
ARE THERE ANY RISKS?
Although group therapy may have potential risks, such risks are small and minimized as much as possible through work with a skilled therapist. Amy implements a pre-screening process prior to beginning a group in order to determine if the group subject, members, and treatment techniques are a good fit. Sometimes, people report that they feel intimidated by group therapy and nervous about sharing their thoughts with others. However, many people report feeling more comfortable with group therapy after the first few sessions.
Limitations of group therapy may include experiencing uncomfortable feelings, such as sadness, guilt, anxiety, anger, frustration, loneliness and helplessness. At times, you may be required to discuss unpleasant aspects of your life. You may experience concerns about your privacy and confidentiality. Group therapy may not be a benefit to those individuals who are experiencing crisis, severe depression, suicidality, or other significant mental health concerns.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
Contact me for a free phone consultation to discuss your concerns in more detail and to learn how I work.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Each group will have a detailed schedule and outline of sessions and costs. Prior to participating in group therapy, you will be provided with a detailed Informed Consent that outlines practice policies, including information about payment, insurance and fees.