Group therapy is a form of counseling in which individuals come together in a group setting for talk therapy led by a mental health professional. Therapy sessions are generally held at predetermined intervals – for example, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly – for a set number of weeks or months. They focus on issues or circumstances that are common to the participants. For instance, therapy groups might be formed to address anxiety, divorce recovery or parenting. Depending on the circumstances, group therapy can be effective on its own, or when used in conjunction with individual therapy and other forms of treatment.
Group therapy can benefit anyone whose individual issues can be addressed through group discussion. For example, trauma counselling centres and addiction rehab facilities bring their clients together in group sessions so that they can learn and grow from each others’ unique experiences.
Under the guidance of a mental health professional, group therapy participants are invited to share their experiences and perspectives on a particular issue. The confidential mediated setting provides a safe environment in which individuals can talk about things that they would otherwise not feel comfortable discussing. The therapist is there to ensure that all voices are heard, and that nobody is overridden.
Over the course of the group therapy program, participants may learn some key skills in two major areas: