The best among all the therapies are the ones that address the clients’ specific needs. While many therapies take advantage of anonymity and privacy, sometimes the best way to deal with stressful events and personal disturbing concerns is to connect with others who are going through the same. This is what group therapy is for. It used personal interaction among different people who have gone through similar experiences, and it helps them find a way together.
What is Group Therapy?
It is a form of psychotherapy that involves a therapist and a group of people who are there to discuss a common problem. Group therapy is conducted by a licensed mental health counselor or a psychologist. These sessions are not rule-free and free-for-all conversations type, rather the therapist appoints some basic rules that are designed to facilitate the healthy conversation among the members.
The size of the groups may vary but the number of participants is not the crucial factor when setting up the session. The most important thing is that the individuals who are assembled in one place have gone through similar experiences. The therapy cannot be successful if one person in the group is an addict while the other is suffering from bipolar. Although you can conduct group therapy with the people close to each other such as family members or couples, it is recommended to encourage sharing among strangers.
How to find a Group Therapist
If you are looking to find the perfect Group Therapist it is crucial to make sure that they have the appropriate qualifications, knowledge and experience. At Expat Therapy 4U we only accept therapists who have full professional proficiency in English and are highly experienced in working with people from culturally diverse backgrounds. The clinicians we approve share our values and commitment to provide high quality therapy to the expatriate community in the private sector across Europe and online worldwide. We strongly believe that therapy changes lives, and being accredited ensures all our therapists are qualified to a high standard. You can find a Group Therapist who is insured to practice and accredited with a recognised membership body online here.
What can Group Therapy help with?
Group therapy can help people with plenty of issues such as:
- Grief and loss
- Addiction and dependency
- Low self-esteem
- Relationship issues
- Post-partum depression
- Parenting issues
- Social skills deficiency
- Communication issues
- Anger management
- Disordered eating
Goals of Group Therapy
Although for every therapy, the goal is to give the client a sense of autonomy, ease, and control over their lives, the goals of group therapy are slightly different from the rest of the therapies. Group therapy is most beneficial for people who have issues that affect many people. Group therapy is a part of a large therapeutic strategy that encourages bonding, sharing, and coping.
There are two primary goals of group therapy:
- Process goals
- Outcome goals
Process goals are the ones that are related to the procedure of understanding one’s concerns and making a connection with other people’s concerns involved in group therapy. The process goals are very crucial when it comes to maintaining a connection with other people in the group and relating to them. Whereas outcome goals are the ones that are based on the behavioral changes that must happen once the clients are out of the therapy. These are achievable goals for individuals after they have taken on the therapy.
The most significant goal of group therapy is to develop a sense of relatability and belongingness through the matter of communication and understanding. When every individual shares their experiences and comes to know how common those experiences are, they develop a sense of connectedness.
What to expect from attending a Group Therapy session?
Usually, group therapy is led by one or two therapists who are well-trained to conduct for leading group therapy. Group therapy can consist of six to twelve people. While it is clear that the groups can be small or large, it is clear that the process loses its effectiveness when the group size is increased.
In a typical group therapy session, the members meet each other at the same place every week and address the issues that are shared by everyone. According to the experts, at least six sessions must be conducted to see some results but many people decide to stick to it for a whole year. The settings for a group therapy can vary, such as it can happen in therapy offices, hospitals, members’ houses, churches, libraries, or community centers. Some even prefer to have individual therapies along with group therapy.
The members of group therapy often meet in the setting which is quiet and relaxing. The chairs are arranged in a way that every person can see the other without any inconvenience. When it begins, the members introduce themselves, discuss their issue and the progress they have been making, and share their reasons to be there. How a group therapy session goes depends on the style of therapists. Some therapists prefer a freestyle while many have their lessons planned for the session.
Group therapy meeting can be of two styles:
- In open groups, new members are welcomed and encouraged to join anytime they want.
- In a closed group, the members can all join at the same time and the participants are not changed or added after that.
Benefits of Group Therapy
Since group therapy is all about connecting and understanding each other’s pain, it is very effective in many cases. Here are some of the benefits of group therapy:
- It makes you realize that you are not alone in your battles.
- Group therapy is a great source of giving each other support that we all need.
- It helps you find your voice, encourages you to speak about the feelings that make you shy.
- You get to relate yourself with others in healthier ways.
- You feel safe and secure while surrounded by the people who understand you.
With so many benefits and effectiveness, group therapy has been proven to be a great approach towards a healthy mindset.
The therapist also plans some activities in group therapy to let the people know each other better and have better communication. Such activities can include dialogue-driven, such as sharing stories and reading. Some activities require physical engagement and teamwork as well. If used the right way, these activities can bring the members to close faster and better.
Physical activities such as cooking, dancing, or working together to achieve a goal can help a lot in the purpose. Other things such as playing music, painting, and acting are used to create impressions. The therapist also makes the members do role-playing to let them interact on a better level.
Further Readings on Group Therapy
About Expat Therapy 4U
Expat Therapy 4U is the result of 5 years’ experience running The International Psychology Clinic, the first private therapy service based in London specialized in multilingual and multicultural therapy.
The platform is run by Dr Martina Paglia. Dr Martina is a leading dual qualified Clinical and Counselling psychologist who helps patients by providing bespoke psychological services including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Counselling and Psychotherapy in London and online worldwide.
Our network comprises highly qualified and experienced private therapists who have made a positive difference in the lives of thousands of expats worldwide. All members of our community are highly experienced working in cross-cultural environments.
We are passionate about delivering first-class patient-centred, safe and effective care. If you would like to work with a warm, inclusive, caring and professional English-speaking therapist in Europe or online worldwide you have come to the right place.
If you are looking for the perfect expat Therapist in Europe or online worldwide, our team is dedicated to help you find your best match. We offer a client guarantee where clients can re-book with a different therapist if they are not satisfied with their first therapy session.
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