Are you interested in therapy but questioning how the different forms of therapy differ?
As individual therapy seems to be about one’s own personal experiences and diving deep into those with the help of a psychologist, this can make one wonder how it varies from a group therapy setting. Understandably, sometimes the thought of group therapy can feel a little stressful because of the heightened sense of vulnerability. One could conclude that more people equals more exposure of themselves to others. However, the benefits of group therapy can be found rewarding and life-changing.
One of the most important benefits of group therapy is learning that there can be other people going through similar things as you and that you are not alone with some of your thoughts. Some of the people in the group might be facing similar issues with each other, which can help the group to understand, empathize and work together on their issues.
Although every mental health struggle is unique for the person going through it, acknowledging that it might be a partly shared experience may sometimes help. Struggling with mental health can also easily feel isolating if we assume that we must be the only ones struggling with it. It might make you feel more understood with the struggles you might have when sharing feelings related to them with a bigger group of people.
Naturally, in a group setting a variety of new and different perspectives are involved in the sessions. With varying life experiences and different personalities, we all tend to look at situations quite differently, which in a group setting can help us to incorporate new ways to deal with our issues.
Group perspectives can broaden your self-discovery in a way that can differ from an individual therapy setting. Self-discovery can happen, for example, more in relation to others in the same situation. People in different stages of coping can also offer hopeful views for each other’s therapy journeys and healing.
What is more to it?
Similarly to individual therapy, group therapy implies confidentiality from all the part-takers. This means that everyone in the group has their stories and personal information kept inside the group sessions and not brought out to others outside the group. Having your group with confidentiality to talk freely about everything can provide a new safety net that can build your confidence. With stronger confidence, you might be able to reach closer to achieving your personal therapy goals.
Hence, group therapy entails many similar elements to individual therapy but also offers benefits such as feelings of inclusiveness, discovering oneself in depth in a social context and building confidence with others. Seeing your thoughts through other perspectives and learning to analyse your situation collectively can be a life-changing experience.