Blog 120. Therapy. Part J: The Value Of Focused Group Therapy.
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Generally there are 2 types of group therapy:
- Focused Group Therapy and
- General therapy – which I will address in the next section under Careers and Work.
Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy. It is widely available and can be found in various centres, hospitals, mental health clinics, community centres and your doctor or indeed Google, will provide you with all the information with regards the various support groups available in your area.
You can choose to attend group therapy with or without having to also attend individual therapy.
The basic principle of group therapy is that, “A problem shared is a problem halved.”
What happens in focused group therapy?
A focused therapy group offers support and encouragement in a particular area.
In other words, a focused group usually specialises in specific areas that range from bullying, depression, alcoholism, gambling, drug addictions or bereavement, and so on.
Each group provides valuable support to people who would otherwise feel isolated and alone in the various situations they may find themselves having to cope with.
Many may feel and indeed are aware, that friends and family cannot always provide constant or long term support to an ongoing problem, as they themselves may be busy with their own lives and so on. A focused group can therefore be a good alternative or substitute.
Groups usually meet once a week in order to provide regular support to its members.
Each group is led by a therapist and as a result, each group is led slightly differently.
Whatever happens or whatever is said during the sessions – remains confidential. Confidentiality gets agreed upon by each member or when anyone joins the group for the first time.
Some groups can be cost nothing and are free, some are funded by a local authority or hospital, whereas others may require you to pay a small amount towards the therapist’s fee, the rental of the room and any other necessary charges.
A session might begin with members of the group introducing themselves and sharing why they are in group therapy. Members might also share their experiences and progress since the last meeting. But this is voluntary.
Various issues are brought to the group which individuals may be struggling with. Participation is however – optional. Members are not ‘forced’ or even expected to participate if they feel uncomfortable or not ready to do so. Sometimes members may want to just sit and listen. Some weeks, just being part of a group and knowing that everyone is struggling with similar issues, is often good enough.
What is the value of a focused therapy group?
Any group that shares a common problem will always allow it’s members to feel they are not alone and that “problem shared is a problem halved”.
The help that is given and shared during sessions can help give the members a feeling of camaraderie and a feeling of self-worth.
Being able to help others and share coping strategies often helps boost confidence and it provides a feeling of being valued and needed.
And when members enquire and show concern if a member does not attend a session then this can add to the alliance or connection of the group.
And herein is an important value of the group: The consistent encouragement and sharing of information can give each member great support.
Within the group, individuals can begin to explore their past, their childhood and then as time goes on they can begin to explore new behaviour, in a safe and a supportive environment.
A group can even simulate a family environment and members can work through any issues that may arise as a result.
Feedback can be given, although this is supervised, and therefore feedback is usually constructive and helpful. This can add to a feeling of acceptance and belonging.
Over time each member will begin to want to continue their lives without the help of the group, as independence and healing is reached.
Also, in some cases, friendships will have been formed that may continue outside of the group and this socialising aspect provides a further advantage to what the group may offer.
In other words, group therapy which usually consists of a group of people sitting in a circle or indeed, it can be held virtually as well, can be very effective and many have found it’s value most useful.
In other words, “A problem shared is indeed a problem halved.”
In the next blog albeit in the next section, I will address how group therapy can help anyone in the career, at business or within a company: Blog 122: Careers and Work: The Value Of Group Therapy In Business –
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