Group counseling is a group consisting of 10 or less participants with 1-2 therapists/group leaders who engage in psychological counseling. This is a form of counseling that enables sharing experiences and concerns with a group that is facing similar issues. People in the group listen to each other and express their thoughts, beliefs and emotions without fear of retaliation or judgement. Check out this good read article from ReGain on the benefits of group counseling.
- Enable communication – participants who are introverts struggle with social situations and even normal conversations. People who suffer from depression, anxiety or other mental disorders generally find it difficult to understand and exhibit socially acceptable behavior. Group counseling teaches social conversation skills to the participants and encourage them to support each other. There is also accountability when they commit goals in front of everyone.
- Make peace with themselves – one of the many advantages of group counseling is that it enables people to move forward with their life after a personal loss or traumatic experience. People can find themselves in a identical group and get positivity and it can uplift their spirit. Support groups are essential for people who suffer from trauma, domestic violence or grief.
- Support system – participants can get much needed acceptance and support from group sessions. They can lean on each other, offer help to others and share things they are struggling with. They can form long-lasting friendships with each other.
- Transparent – many people are honest in sharing their experiences with the group. This can give them chance to view other people’s suffering and their own in a new perspective. Group therapy can provide comfort and support when sharing very intimate stories. Group therapy can help you identify with your opinions and beliefs, set goals for yourself and find your voice.
- Building healthy relationships – group therapy enables the participants to learn social skills and form healthy relationships. These relationships can last outside of therapy. If you are able to communicate openly with the group, you can build strong bonds. The friends you make in group counseling sessions are great listeners, they keep your private matters to themselves and provide advice when you behave in a destructive manner.
- Safe place – most people are afraid of being judged by others. Being afraid to express your opinions and beliefs is not healthy. Today with the rise of social media, it becomes increasingly harder to give opinions. Group counseling sessions ensure that the participants can share their individual experiences, beliefs and opinions without retaliation, disrespect, or ridicule from other people.
- Unity – just knowing that you are not alone, that there other people who have gone through the same problems as you are, who are struggling like you are, who have experienced trauma etc. is a very powerful tool in overcoming the obstacles of life and experiencing recovery. Knowing that you are not alone gives you therapeutic benefits.
Group therapy is particularly effective for certain age groups such as teenagers who can connect with others and take advice from people older than them. Group counseling sessions can enable participants to overcome their problems together.