While the term ‘group therapy’ can refer to any kind of psychotherapy that is delivered in a group, it is most commonly associated with a specific type of therapy that makes use of the group dynamic. Having therapy in a group dynamic can offer many benefits including the creation of a support network and the opportunity to meet others experiencing similar concerns.
Just like individual therapy, group therapy is confidential. If you do decide to attend group therapy, you will likely be asked to commit to a certain number of sessions. Group therapy typically involves a small group of people (between seven and 12 is considered the norm) and a therapist.
During the first therapy session, members of the group may start by introducing themselves and sharing why they are there. After this, the therapist may encourage members to discuss their experiences and progress. How a therapy session is structured will depend on the style of the therapist running the session and the nature of the concern(s) being explored.
Some sessions may involve discussion only, while others may involve group therapy activities. Such activities could include skill development, problem-solving or trust-building exercises.
Group therapy can be applied with a variety of approaches and to a variety of concerns. However, certain areas particularly benefit from a group dynamic, including addictions, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, relationship difficulties, schizophrenia, and self-harm.