The concepts behind group psychotherapy have similar purposes to individual therapy. It’s meant to assist individuals with coping with difficulties and problems in their lives through talking and counseling, but group psychotherapy is a meeting of a small group of people who are experiencing similar situations.
Group psychotherapy involves a lot of interpersonal communication between people, so it’s often useful when addressing relational issues such as self-esteem, intimacy, and trust. Group therapy can be useful for a number of purposes including groups who are seeking interpersonal skill development, support for crisis situations such as trauma, abuse, or loss, and help with emotional problems such as anxiety or depression. Feedback from others can help increase someone’s awareness of maladaptive behaviors and help change one’s point of view.
The members of the group are chosen specifically because they may have a useful influence on one another and benefit from the group therapy environment specifically. The goal of group therapy is to face personal issues and development, but also grow as a group. Through sharing personal issues, a member of the group can get feedback, encouragement, reactions, support, or criticism from others. The group may also bring up and direct its own topics of discussion.
Group members share about their personal issues and continue to update the group of their progress over the course of therapy. Combining the use of both individual and group psychotherapy may be especially helpful in some cases.
To learn more about psychotherapy, please call Marsha Schechtman, LCSW at 770.753.4911 or Howard Drutman, Ph.D. at 678.867.7020 at the Atlanta Behavioral Consultants.