Understanding The Benefits Of Group Therapy

Updated June 17, 2024by MyTherapist Editorial Team
Content warning: Please be advised, the below article might mention trauma-related topics that could be triggering to the reader. Please see our Get Help Now page for more immediate resources.
Getty
Overcoming mental health challenges can be hard

Can group therapy work for you? Is it a better way to go instead of individual therapy? Well, there's only one way to find out; to understand each type of therapy better and look at how they will work for the specific situation you find yourself in. Once you decide that you'll be better prepared for the benefits and drawbacks of each option, you and your therapist will be better able to determine which way will work best for you.

Benefits of group therapy

If you're in a group therapy setting, you will have therapy with other people who have similar conditions or traumas. This can significantly benefit you because it helps you to understand that you're not alone. You’ll share with and learn from others who are also going through a loss or dealing with addiction, depression, or anything else you might be experiencing. Knowing that you're not alone in your struggles and even in your setbacks is a great way to continue having the motivation and drive to seek out help, even if you make a mistake along the way.

Group therapy also gives each of you a chance to help each other. If you're a little further in your recovery, you could help others who are just starting. You can talk to them about your path, how hard it was for you, or even what made it easier. You can also talk about how you got through similar situations to what they are experiencing. You'll also be able to get similar help for yourself, from other people who have been where you are and have moved forward.

With this type of therapy, you can also see the light at the end of the tunnel; by looking at those in the group who are further than you or even that are close to having the life that you want to have someday, you can recognize that this is not the end for you and that you can fight your way through as well. You can get to where they are because they've already done it, and they will show you how it works.

Another nice aspect of group therapy is having someone to celebrate with you. Telling your family you've made it to six months sober will likely get you a smile and congrats. But telling the people in your group is a more significant milestone. These people understand everything you've gone through to make it to that point and know how amazing this is for you. It can help you stay motivated to continue and feel like you're doing something important for yourself and your future.

Benefits of individual therapy

With individual therapy, you will have your therapist's undivided attention. That means if you have a rough time, you don't have to compete with other people in the group to get the floor. You don't have to try and get the attention of your therapist, and you don't have to worry about whether they'll pick up on some of the more subtle signs that you might be showing that something is going on. They will pay attention to only you, which can help you feel more connected and open.

Some people have difficulty opening up around others, and speaking to a therapist about what you're going through can be challenging enough. That's when having individual therapy can be a benefit. If you're not going to open up and talk to the other people in your group, it's likely not going to help you to be there. You need to talk about yourself and your struggles and hurdles to achieve benefits from other types of therapy.

Finally, you can talk about whatever you want to talk about in individual therapy. That means if today you want to talk about your depression and your next session you want to talk about a loss you experienced, you can do that. Your sessions don't need to focus on any specific trauma or situation you're experiencing. You can talk about anything you want and get the help you need from your therapist in these sessions.

Getty
Overcoming mental health challenges can be hard

Getting help

Only you can decide if group or individual therapy will be best for you. If you're going to be comfortable in a group setting, it may be a good thing because of all the benefits we've talked about; but if you're not going to be comfortable, it's best to continue with individual sessions. Your therapist is also an excellent resource for learning about group vs. individual sessions. They can help you understand why it's a good or not-so-good idea for you personally, so you can focus on overcoming your obstacles.

If you are looking for a therapist, ensure you're looking at all the options, even the newer ones. Online treatment is a convenient way to find a qualified therapist and attend sessions from the comfort of your own home or anywhere you have an internet connection. You don’t have to worry about a commute or a waiting list. Research shows that online therapy is effective; one review of 14 studies found it is just as effective as in-person treatment. If you’re ready to learn more, talk to a professional online to take the next step.

Takeaway

Group therapy has many benefits. It can introduce you to people who are experiencing the same things that you are and offers you a wide range of support not only from your therapist but from people who have worked through the same things you’re facing. But group therapy isn’t for everyone. If you want to learn more about group therapy or are ready to begin one-on-one sessions, an online therapist can help.

For Additional Help & Support With Your ConcernsThis website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
Get the support you need from one of our therapistsGet Started
This website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.