Attending group therapy and sharing your story and experiences with others might seem intimidating. Moreover, the idea of becoming vulnerable in these settings might even keep you from pursuing any form of therapy. However, group therapy can be one of the most beneficial therapies for your recovery. Many who attend group therapy are often surprised by how rewarding their experience can be for treating depression, anxiety, stress, and many other mental health-related disorders.
Group therapy is also not confined to one approach and could consist of multiple counselors, and the number of participants can range from 5-15 people. If you are trying to decide on which therapy model will work best for you, try not to rule out group therapy for fear of being around others; in fact, group therapy might help you overcome social anxiety. Let’s take a look into some of the benefits that come from attending group therapy.
Support Through Camaraderie
Perhaps the most crucial thing to learn when pursuing recovery is that you are not alone in your experiences. Knowing that others are facing similar challenges can help you combat feelings of isolation and alienation. This common ground of sharing difficulties with others nurtures trust and makes judgment less likely to occur. Sharing feelings in a group setting can also help relieve any pain or stress you have been experiencing from keeping your thoughts and emotions bottled up for so long.
Sharing Different Perspectives
Group therapy functions on input from a variety of perspectives. With different personalities and experiences, people tend to view challenges and situations differently. For example, if you talk about a negative interaction you have had with another person, other peers can help you see things from their perspective that perhaps you do not see. Hearing how you may come across to others can be very powerful in giving you insight into your behaviors.
Additionally, learning about how others handle their problems can help you incorporate different strategies to address your own needs. Most participants will be in different stages of recovery and will be able to offer you advice on how to overcome something that you’re currently experiencing because they may have already gone through something similar. Getting extra support and feedback from others can also be crucial for helping you learn to cope in different ways in your recovery.
Promotes Self-Confidence and Self-Discovery
Having the camaraderie, fellowship, and support of peer group members provides a great safety net that can rebuild your self-confidence. Confidence is a key element in lasting recovery because it enables you to push yourself outside of your comfort zone when faced with challenges outside of the group setting. You will be more motivated to face challenges when you have the security of knowing that you have your peers to fall back on, even if you don’t meet your goal.
Furthermore, it is likely that you, along with many others, have certain blind spots about yourself, some of which may be holding you back from addressing the root of your struggles. As such, by gaining confidence in group therapy and addressing certain challenges with the support of others, you will attain a great deal of growth and self-discovery. Through interacting with peers from group therapy, you will see reflections of yourself. These experiences will help improve your ability to cope with situations while also lending you more insight into yourself.
Groups Promote Social Skills
An inevitable, if not an undeniable, aspect of recovery is that to maintain recovery, you need to have a healthy support network that you can interact with regularly. If you are not very social or have reservations about being in social settings, group therapy can provide a safe and comfortable space for you to overcome these fears and anxieties. Groups can ease the sense of isolation and allow you to engage with people, which helps you see how you can get along and develop relationships with others. Alternatively, overcoming social anxieties in group therapy will help prepare you for expressing your emotions with family and friends.
Like with any form of treatment or therapy, group therapy requires that all group members maintain confidentiality outside the group. While other members do not have to adhere to the same ethical constraints as the therapist, maintaining others’ privacy and confidentiality are basic requirements for group therapy. Because of this, you may be surprised at how strong the community and bonds are in group therapy for upholding and respecting others. If you are concerned with maintaining a certain level of anonymity, you do not need to share your full name, and you could even use a nickname or initials as identification within the group. Regardless of which therapy you are choosing, the therapist or counselor will always make sure that you feel safe and respected.
Therapy within a group setting can be a transformative experience in helping you address and overcome different challenges that could be holding you back. At Choice house, we provide men-only group therapy to create an environment where men can feel comfortable expressing their emotions and sharing their experiences and struggles with others dealing with similar issues. We also provide individual and family therapy, so you always have a choice in what therapies will best suit your needs. You may want to use all, or just some, forms of therapy that we offer. Located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, we are also able to provide outdoor therapies and inspiring views to help you gain a deeper connection with yourself, your environment, and others. If you or someone you love is struggling to manage their emotions and are experiencing negative behaviors, the time to seek help is now. To find out more, reach out to Choice House today by calling (720) 577-4422.