Group Therapy for Mental Health
When it comes to therapy for mental health issues, different people often respond differently to treatment. There are specific treatments that could prove to be less effective than others, while other forms are surprisingly effective for those who receive them. This is why therapists only recommend a treatment form after a thorough assessment of the patient, so as to determine what treatment form they would respond better to.
One of the more effective types of therapy for a variety of issues is group counseling, which most people who undergo it show dramatic improvement. Adler Health’s premier mental health treatment in Orange County, CA offers group therapy. Mental health issues should not be taken lightly. Contact us today to get help.
What is Group Therapy?
Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy where a therapist conducts treatment with a group of patients. In some scenarios, there could be more than one therapist present in the group, although the most typical setup has just one therapist present to moderate the talk therapy that happens in the group.
Depending upon the particular setup, participants could be anywhere from around five to 15 participants, although many therapists would rather keep the number of patients in the group to a number that is more manageable, just to ensure that everyone in the group is actively engaged in the talk therapy.
Many participants are often quite hesitant to participate in the particular type of therapy that happens in group therapy, as being in a group removes the intimacy and privacy that people find in individual therapy. Most participants, however, later on, admit that they were surprised at how effective this form of therapy proved to be. Not only did it help them with their mental health issues, but they also experienced quite a number of additional benefits from it.
What are the Benefits of Group Therapy?
Group therapy comes with a different set of dynamics and nuances as compared to individual therapy, and these differences often result in surprising benefits for those who participate in it, not the least of which is how effective it often turns out for the participants.
The phrase “I know what you’re going through” is one of the worst things that could be said to one dealing with mental health issues. Since one of the most prominent thoughts in the minds of people undergoing therapy is that no one really understands what they are going through. Being in a group therapy program, however, completely disarms this argument. All participants in the group have similar experiences, which is why they are in the group, to begin with. This scenario encourages participants to slowly lower their defenses and actively participate in talk therapy.
Another reason why most people in therapy find it immensely difficult to talk about their issues is the fact that they fear people would judge them harshly if they talk about their problems. This pervading fear of opening up is one of the greatest challenges in therapy. Breakthroughs only come through revelations, and revelations only come when the patient begins to honestly talk about their issues. As all participants in the group have similar experiences and issues, there is no risk of anyone judging another participant for what they think or feel regarding their condition.
A sad fact about therapy is that there are many who find it ineffective and a waste of time and money. Some have found it provided them with little to no improvement in their condition at all. Hearing about how another person suffering from the same condition making significant progress, however, is a true source of inspiration and hope for anyone. This is why group therapy has proven to be quite effective for many. Since patients resonate more with the success of their peers than talking with someone they know is paid to listen to them talk.
There are surprisingly a lot of people who don’t really know how to talk to others. Regardless if this is by choice or simply because they really did not find the time to hone their social skills, the inability to talk to others will only serve to promote a sense of isolation.
For someone with mental health issues, isolation is often the worst thing to happen to them, as being alone with their thoughts could only aggravate their condition. Being exposed to people who are not only willing to talk but also listen is the best encouragement to get participants in the group to open up to each other. This is why support groups also become impromptu training grounds for social skills at times.
Group therapy is one of the best arguments in proving that things that cost more don’t always deliver better quality. Individual therapy costs significantly more but does not always deliver better results when it comes to helping people with their issues. Participants in group therapy often reach a breakthrough in their therapy much faster than someone in individual therapy. This is because of being in an atmosphere where participants are inspired to engage in the discussion, rather than being forced to do so.
Therapy of any kind also necessarily involves a certain amount of self-discovery. In group therapy, most participants are often surprised to discover that they are actually able to help other participants in improvement and progression. People who join group therapy sessions realize later on that their participation in the discussion is all the therapy that most members need. Most participants find inspiration and realization in this manner, as they learn that they are not alone in what they are going through and that there is still hope for betterment.
It is not uncommon for people who have mental issues to either be completely in denial of it or choose to isolate themselves from others for fear of being judged or ridiculed. The denial or isolation, however, will do nothing to solve the problem, and only serve to make it worse.
Group counseling has proven to be highly effective in dealing with this particular problem because no one in the group is in a position to judge others, as they are all going through the same thing. This knowledge gives each member of the group a certain sense of acceptance, and from this, the willingness to commit to the therapy even more.
What are the Types of Group Therapy?
There are different types of group therapy that make use of different approaches based on the particular mental health issue that is being treated. Most who hear of group therapy mostly think of it as just being about support groups, which is just one particular type of group therapy. Group types could be made up of a small number of participants like four or five people or be made up of as many as a dozen members.
The number of participants could vary depending on the therapist who moderates the group discussions. The number of participants is an important factor as a group with very few participants might not achieve the optimal participation potential needed to progress in treatment. Conversely, a very large group could be quite troublesome to manage, particularly when it comes to giving each member enough time to talk.
This type of group therapy makes full use of the cognitive behavioral therapy approach, which focuses on identifying specific thought and behavior patterns that result in self-harm or in causing a person to perceive and react to situations in a manner that is counterproductive and sometimes even damaging.
There are many people who really find great difficulty in building or maintaining any kind of social interaction with others. This particular group explores the possible reasons for this difficulty and at the same time provides hands-on experience in social interactions through participation in group discussions.
Some consider this group a spinoff of the cognitive behavioral group, as this particular group also makes use of the cognitive behavioral therapy approach. It deals with negative thoughts and behavior patterns while teaching members of the group better ways to cope with stress and triggers that are related to their particular mental health issues.
People who have developmental disabilities are not always able to learn and acquire skills in the same manner and speed as others do, which often isolates them from others. This particular group approach finds a way to bridge whatever gaps may exist or deal with potential learning barriers the participants may have that serve to hinder their ability to learn or develop new skills.
This particular type is the most popular group therapy type. It is included in most treatment and rehabilitation programs that help people in dealing with whatever common issues they might have. These groups are often based and sponsored by communities, private groups, or even religious congregations.
Find The Best Group Counseling Suited to You with Adler Health
Here at Adler Health, we have a very serious stance when it comes to mental health. We believe that it is not enough to simply use the general approach to deal with every problem people might have, because people react differently to situations. We know there is always a better way, and this is why we are able to help as many people as we have. Let us help you. Inquire about our inpatient program and outpatient program for mental health services today.