In many cases, issues such as addiction and mental health disorders can leave an individual to feel isolated and alone. Because of this, individuals struggling with these types of issues tend to withdrawal themselves socially and not maintain relationships. Group Therapy is beneficial to individuals in these types of situations because it provides them the tools they need to cope with their disorders while building a network of support.
What is Group Therapy?
Group Therapy is a type of psychotherapy that involves several people and one or more therapists leading the session. This form of therapy is utilized in many different types of treatment centers as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes individual therapy and medication. In a group therapy session, clients practice personal interaction with other individuals who share similar experiences. Individuals participate in exercises that encourage communication between one another in order to process, cope, and grow.
In a group therapy session, a licensed mental health professional supervises and guides the interactions. They will often set ground rules designed to facilitate the conversation and help clients connect with one another. Groups are mainly constructed with individuals who share the same disorder or similar experience. The process of sharing personal stories and learning from one another is the foundation of an effective group therapy session.
Benefits of Group Therapy
Joining a group of strangers to discuss personal issues may be intimidating to some. However, the benefits of group therapy could help ease the client’s fears. Benefits of group therapy include:
- Building a Support Network: When clients participate in group therapy, they get to meet other people who relate to them on a personal level. They share similar problems and experiences. For someone struggling with mental health issues and co-occurring disorders, it’s easy to feel like they are alone and that no one understands them. This is quickly dismissed in group therapy. Every individual brings a unique perspective and background story, but all share a common ground. Clients are able to provide and gain support from their peers. Best of all, these bonds could continue to grow into friendships and support networks in recovery.
- Sharing Your Story in a Therapeutic Setting: When clients share their stories in group therapy, they express their underlying feelings and emotions. When you’re surrounded by people who feel the same way, expressing these feelings could lead to an outpouring of support. This type of validation is essential in self-healing.
- Learning to Relate to Others: For clients struggling with mental health issues such as social anxiety, depression, anger management, or other socially related disorders, group therapy is highly beneficial. Clients will gain a deeper understanding of others who they relate to. The group facilitator will help these clients learn to interact with one another, and in turn, with others outside of therapy.
- Discovering Insight into Yourself: Unfortunately, no one can observe their own behavior. No one really knows how they come off to others, just as others may not understand why you are coming off that way. Because mental health professionals work to make group therapy sessions a safe and comforting environment, clients will have the opportunity to learn more about themselves while working to improve themselves. When clients open up to one another, they may discover important realizations about themselves as well as their mental health.
Types of Group Therapy
Overland IOP offers three hours of Group Therapy per day. Our staff of dedicated clinicians is trained in multiple therapeutic modalities to help clients achieve their goals and succeed in long-term recovery and overall mental health. Our groups address a wide variety of issues, including:
- Co-Occurring Disorders: Individuals who suffer from both a substance use disorder and mental health disorder are diagnosed as having co-occurring disorders. Group Therapy for co-occurring disorders touches on both issues simultaneously, which is essential for a full recovery.
- Addiction: Lead by an addiction counselor, group therapy for addiction helps clients through the early stages of recovery. Individuals will address the triggers, cravings, and obstacles they face in order to prevent relapse.
- Psychoeducation: A psychoeducational group is a form of group therapy that focuses on educating clients about their disorder as well as ways to cope. They learn about their specific diagnosis as well as tools they need to make the proper changes.
- Spiritual Exploration: At Overland IOP, clients will have a safe, inclusive space to explore what spirituality means to them. Individuals will discuss different spiritual traditions to discover what designates with them on their journey to recovery.
- Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy: REBT Groups focus on helping clients identify negative self-defeating thoughts and replace them with more productive beliefs. This group method focuses on the present time to understand how unhealthy thoughts lead to unhealthy actions that are interfering in life goals. Once understood, these thoughts can be transformed into positive behaviors.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: It’s common for individuals struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders to have destructive, negative thinking patterns. CBT Groups help address these harmful thought patterns and teach clients to recognize their ability to practice other ways of thinking.