Therapist tries Personal Group Therapy


Group therapy is a group where individuals are typically led by one or two therapists. The group can contain anywhere from 5 to 15 people. Therapists lead and facilitate the group of individuals. There are many different reasons why someone would want to join group therapy. One reason is that an individual may be looking for support when dealing with grief. 

I decided to try group therapy because I needed some personal therapy hours for my degree program, but also to learn about myself. 

Here are some things that I learned in group therapy:

  • There are different types of groups
    • I have tried 2 different types groups. Both groups were for graduate students who are becoming therapists. Even though the groups had this common thread, they were very different. The first group was more of a "process group". There was no set topic- we would talk about whatever we (the participants) wanted to share. The second group I joined was more structured- we had a topic each week that we would discuss. These are just two examples of different group therapies. Group therapy can focus on a certain population of people, a certain topic, and a certain style. 
    • Here are examples of different populations:
      • Parents
      • Teens
      • Children
      • Young Adults
      • Mental Health Professionals
      • Veterans
      • Older Adults
      • and more!
    • Here are examples of different topics:
      • Grief and loss
      • Addiction
      • Parents of children with different abilities
      • Anger Management
      • Depression
      • Stress Management
      • and more!
    • Here are examples of different styles:
      • Psychodynamic (stresses insight in therapy)
      • Experiential and relationship-oriented approaches (emphasizes feelings and subjective experiences)
      • Cognitive behavioral approaches (emphasizes the role of thinking and doing; action-oriented)
      • Postmodern approaches (stresses understanding the subjective world of the participant and tap existing resources for change within the individual) *
  • The people in the group impact the experience
    • Fortunately, I had a good experience with both groups, and the participants in the group were very positive and encouraging. The type of people in the group can make or break the group. A supportive and encouraging group can make a great group experience, while individuals who are negative and inconsistent can make the group a difficult experience. When deciding on a group, ask the therapist what the group culture is (or what they will do to foster the group culture).
  • We can learn something new from the group experience
    • We can learn many different things about ourselves, others, and the world we we're living in. I highly recommend trying group therapy. Not every group is going to be a good fit for you. You may have to do some research to find the right group, but once you do, it will be worth it!
I hope that this post was helpful! You can learn a lot from groups! 
It may take some time to research groups in your area. I would suggest finding a therapist on Psychology Today and asking them if they know of any groups in the area.
Participating in a group can also help you learn how to lead a group in the future! 
I know that you're going to do great things!

*Reference: Marianne Schneider; Gerald Corey; Cindy Corey. Groups: Process and Practice 10 Edition Kindle Book (p. 130).  Kindle Edition. 

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