Group therapy is a form of therapy whereby a small number of people meet together in a safe environment under the guidance of a professionally trained therapist to help individuals better understand themselves in the context of their relationships with others. Individuals are taught proven strategies for managing specific problems so that you will be able to make better informed, healthy and adaptive decisions. These choices are based on the deeper awareness of your own feelings, interpersonal behaviours, reactions, and patterns.
This type of therapy can address a specific type of problems such as feelings of isolation, depression or anxiety or it may focus more generally on improving social skills, or help you to deal with a range of issues such as addiction, anger, grief, and low self-esteem. Therapy helps you make significant changes so you feel better about the quality of your life.
The benefit of group therapy, although it may be intimidating to be with a group of strangers, differs from individual counselling. Group counselling can provide a support network, helps you to put your own problems into perspective, provides relief to hear others are experiencing similar situations, and shows you that you are not alone. This type of therapy also provides diversity because you are able to see how others deal with and tackle problems and make changes.
An important rule and group norm is confidentiality and open and honest communication between members. The purpose of this is that it provides the best opportunity for all members to get the most out of the process.
Many also find it beneficial to also participate in individual counselling as it can boost the chances of making valuable, lasting changes.