The Benefits of Group Therapy

What is group therapy? What is different about it than regular one-on-one therapy? These are all questions I wasn’t sure of myself when I looked into what group therapy actually is.

It turns out, group therapy is extremely similar to one-on-one therapy, and many Americans are using it as an alternative to individual therapy. You are surrounded by members who have also recently gone through a similar experience or act and are now aligned on the same journey. Nowadays there are group therapies hosted through national organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, hospitals for cancer patients or bereavement and private wellness enterprises for domestic or sexual violence victims, as well as mental health patients, among others.

Group therapy has several benefits that one-on-one therapy does not. In groups as small as three or four, and as large as 12, participants share, learn and listen to move through their respective experiences. Research has shown that individuals heal better and faster when surrounded by their peers and those of similar experiences.

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Some advantages of group therapy are:

  1. All in this together: Group therapy shows group members that they are not alone, and that, while every situation is unique, others are on similar journeys as you.
  2. Gives hope: Young group members often can see how far older group members have come in their recoveries, which instills hope and determination for the younger ones.
  3. Sharing information: Group members can share personal stories, if they choose, on how it was growing up, how their shared experience influenced their decision making and what members do now to overcome challenges.
  4. Group bonding: Members have the opportunity to encourage, help and stand in solidarity with other group members as they work toward a common goal. This can bring a sense of purpose and belonging to the group.

Team Wellness Center, which has services in Detroit and Southgate offers several group therapy groups to join, which include:

  • Overcoming Depression, Anxiety and Bipolar Disorder Group
  • Grief and Loss
  • Women’s Empowerment Group
  • Life Skills Group
  • Relapse Prevention Group
  • Relaxation Group
  • Anger Management Group
  • Self-Esteem Group
  • Parenting Group

Member Services Therapist Jerry Caughey has seen considerable success with the different groups at Team Wellness Center.

“The population we serve is often disenfranchised, and have little support systems on their own. Group therapy goes a long way to connect and establish relationships with individuals of like experiences. We see that the group members influence each other just as much as the therapist in the session and oftentimes that relationship extends beyond sessions. Member become each other’s support, and help to build self-confidence and self-esteem in each other,” Caughey said.

It should be noted, however, that group therapy is not the answer for everyone and other care options are available. If you or a loved one is looking for help or more information, contact Team Wellness Center at 313-396-5300, or your health insurance provider.

If you liked this blog, check out these other posts on mental health:

Photo Credit: ladyvee9 (feature) Brittany Randolph (inset) via Flickr

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  1. Loneliness is a powerful feeling, so I can imagine group therapy can be very beneficial for those who feel like they need support. Thanks for sharing.

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