See Yourself in a Group? Group therapy is one of the most widely used forms of therapy to initiate and sustain change. Although individual therapy is more popular and the most frequently requested type of therapy, group therapy has substantial benefits that are often overlooked.
Group therapy is practiced within various orientations as is individual therapy. What makes group therapy unique in its format is that it does have specific benefits over individual therapy. The more important reason to use group therapy is that we are social beings and we are raised in a social setting: the family unit. We grow and develop in a social context and without it would be much less than what we are. Our brains are hardwired for social functioning and without social stimulation we would be less functional in every sense of the word.
Group therapy has many benefits to offer:
1. Interpersonal learning: you will grow and develop your interpersonal skills and your identity and self concept will expand as a result of your interpersonal experiences in group therapy. In a supportive environment, led by a professional, you have an opportunity to expand your social skills and develop strong, meaningful relationships with others.
2. It provides an experience of universality. There is a common shared, human experience among us and we cannot experience it unless we are participating in a group. When you experience universality you realize that your problems and issues are not unique to you. Group is the only way to experience universality: a deep emotional and psychological connection to others that is realized and grows deeper by being in a group.
3. You will experience higher levels of self and other acceptance. Through group experiences we learn to grow from acceptance and the nurturing feeling of being accepted by others. The experience of acceptance is nurturing and healing in itself.
4. Group experience gives us the opportunity to be altruistic and to experience altruism. The act of supporting and giving to others boosts self esteem and self confidence.
5. Group provides an opportunity for a corrective family experience. The lack of warmth, acceptance and nurturance that might have been experienced in your developmental years are now available to you in group.
6. You will learn from others and they will provide alternatives to maladaptive patterns.
7. A combination of group and individual therapy is a very potent process. To maximize the efficiency and efficacy of the change process combine the two modalities of individual and group. The combination of dealing with interpersonal issues as well as your individual issues together can effect a powerful change process.
8. If you do group as your only therapy process, it is less expensive than individual therapy.
General group therapy services are available at all times. Groups are open-ended. You may join a group or request to join a new group. Once a group is formed you will start with others at the same time.
To learn more about STA, visit www.specializedtherapy.com, and to learn more about specialty programs and group therapy services, please click the link:
At Specialized Therapy Associates, LLC, we have a team of therapists and doctors who can provide various forms of group therapy. Groups can be conducted in various treatment orientations and this often highly influenced by the type of problems or issues addressed in the group. The treatment orientations that are frequently used include psychodynamic, interpersonal, supportive, cognitive-behavioral, psychoeducation, or dialectical behavior therapy. Contact the intake department at 201-488-6678 and ask for an intake coordinator who can match you to the right group for your specific needs.
Dr. Vanessa Gourdine