5 Benefits of Group Therapy
By Jazmin Stearne
Group therapy can be a very healing experience for those in pain; it doesn’t matter if the nature of their pain is physical or emotional. Depending on your issue, group therapy can be a great choice for addressing your health-related concerns. Group therapy can also help with making positive changes to your life. I have personally joined a number of support groups and I have found them all to be very enriching. I deal with chronic pain, so most of my groups have revolved around that. There are quite a few people who believe group therapy is just as effective (or more effective) than individual therapy. If you have never attended a group therapy session, you may be wondering why group therapy is so important. I have put together a list of its 5 benefits.
- You can make new friends
When you attend a group therapy session, you will likely meet others who can relate to you. If you join a depression support group for example, you will meet others who are in the same boat. When you meet others with depression, you will likely feel a connection because they are going through similar experiences. You will likely form a bond with your group mates because you have similar experiences and can relate with one another. That alone can aid in your recovery.
- It helps you realize you’re not alone
Group therapy helped me realize I’m not alone. My group mates and I may live different lives, but when it comes to fighting our pain, it helps me realize that we’re all in this together. At the end of the session, that feeling of loneliness I had is (always) no longer there. Your group mates will likely support you and encourage you. If you have a need for more support in your life, I encourage you to give group therapy a try.
- It provides a safe place
Group therapy is one of the best (and safe) places to let off steam when you need to. Sometimes we all just need to talk it out. If you’ve got to talk about something that has been bothering you, and you don’t feel comfortable or safe letting non-group mates know, turn to your group mates. Group therapy is a positive place to vent and let off steam. No one will judge you for it, and whatever you say will not leave the room.
- Whatever you say while group is in session will remain confidential
Do you have a sensitive issue you really want to talk about, but are afraid of what others might think? A group therapy session might be a good choice for you. You might be wondering how this can be so. Well, when you are around likeminded adults who are going through the similar experiences, you won’t feel as reluctant to speak up (because there’s likely someone else who might be going through the same thing, or have already gone through it). Whatever you say while group is in session will remain confidential. It cannot leave the room. Period.
- It provides an outlet for socialization
If you are in pain (emotional or physical) you probably aren’t around people as much as you’d like. According to American Addiction Centers, “Group therapy helps individuals develop communication skills and allows clients to learn how to express their issues and accept criticism from others. Group therapy allows individuals to develop self-awareness by listening to others with similar issues.” Group therapy will provide an outlet for socialization for people who might not be able to socialize in other ways. In group therapy, you will meet like-minded people and you can support each other. The healing that comes from that is powerful.
Group therapy has many benefits, I’ve only listed 5. My favorite thing about it is, the friendship. Also, a lot of distress tolerance is taught in support groups, and I find this to be a helpful tool when navigating life. I am starting my own virtual support group, Peer Support for Chronic Pain. If you or someone you know is struggling with chronic pain, I invite you to sign up. Covered topics include pain management, sleep, nutrition, and self-advocacy. If you would like to know more about my group or any of the groups Core3 has to offer, give me a call at 707-387-8479. ~Be well
Resource: Americanaddictioncenters.org/therapy-treatment/group-individual. (n.d.).