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What Is Group Therapy?

Group Therapy

The counselling services offered by companies like Supporting Wellness often include group therapy. They also include individual, couples and family counselling as part of their services in most situations. As you may assume, these services are differentiated by the number of people involved in a single counselling session. However, this surface-level difference is only the beginning of the description of group therapy.

Below, we look at the counselling service of group therapy in more detail. This includes what it entails, why counsellors use it and where it is most effective. Let’s get started!

What Is Group Therapy?

Group therapy typically involves at least two consistent elements. The first of these is a facilitator, counsellor or guide that facilitates the session by introducing a topic, keeping the conversation on track and exploring relevant themes and ideas. The second element is the group involved in the counselling session, which may be two or more individuals seeking counselling. They are responsible for earnest participation, including sharing their thoughts and feelings when they feel comfortable.

What Does It Include?

Group therapy will vary depending on the counsellor, program and people involved. Sometimes, the intent of the session is to explore trauma in a safe and inclusive environment. Other times, it can help show individuals how others are struggling with the same issues and identify new methods or strategies of dealing with them.

Why Do Counsellors Use It?

Group therapy is not an effective counselling service for all situations. It cannot replace individual counselling for some individuals, but it does have its place within the counselling industry. As a community bonding exercise, it is highly effective. It can also be a great way to facilitate discussions that rely on the “wisdom of the crowd,” where people can learn from their peers instead of relying on one-on-one counselling.

Group Therapy

Where Is Group Therapy Most Effective?

Group therapy is at its most effective when the right counsellor(s) is involved. This is the most crucial consideration, as it facilitates all the other potential benefits. The right counsellor will select the right group for the counselling session, which can help prevent difficulties arising from differing perspectives, opposing personalities and more. But, that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to making group counselling effective and reliant on a proper counsellor.

For example, the right counsellor will also help identify and address ruptures in the cohesiveness of the group. This is essential to a continuing safe space, as it allows everyone involved to remain open, engaged and in a situation where they can benefit from the experience. Whether the situation is addressed in front of the group or after the counselling session, the right counsellor will have the skills and emotional empathy necessary to ensure a strong bond for the entire group.

A final consideration for group therapy is the rules established at the beginning. These rules typically include affirmations of respect for each other but can be expanded to address concerns raised by members, like trigger warnings, agreed-upon actions of discomfort and so on. Each group will develop their own dynamics as the counselling process progresses, but these can be very helpful in determining the appropriate method of communication.

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