Group Therapy is a form of counselling in which a therapist works with several people at the same time. It is a widely available therapy and is often used in conjunction with other treatments to create a treatment plan for patients.
Various locations throughout the UK offer group therapy, including private practices, hospitals, mental health centres and community centres. Group sizes of these sessions will vary from place to place with small groups of 3-4 to large groups of 12+ people. Session frequency also varies based on location and therapist preference, the most common frequency is groups that meet once or twice a week and each session usually lasts 1-2 hours at a time.
The Benefits Of Group Counselling
- You aren’t alone! Hearing from people who feel and experience similar things to you, can make you feel like you are not alone in this battle. Attending some kind of group therapy may provide you with a sense of relief afterwards.
- Gather a wider range of perspectives. Discussing problems with a group of people can offer a lot of different perspectives on the situation and allow you to see how you could have handled the situation better, or they could validate your feelings and reactions.
- Provide encouragement. Hearing other people’s successes and achievements can be very encouraging. People often push themselves harder when they see other people achieving the things that they want to.
- Gain friends and develop social skills. Putting yourself in front of a group of people who you don’t know and explaining your challenges is not easy. Putting yourself in this setting could eventually improve your confidence and social skills in all social situations. Once you are comfortable in this situation, you can then apply it to all other real-life situations.
- Reduced cost. Group therapy will cost significantly less than a 1-2-1 session and it regularly is just as beneficial to your journey.
- Learn new things about yourself. You may be able to see things about yourself that you hadn’t before. Being able to see yourself differently can really propel your journey forwards and overcome things you never thought you could.
What Types Are There?
There are two main types of group therapy, one is open sessions and the other is closed sessions. Open sessions allow new participants to join at any time, so the group could change regularly. Closed sessions are closed off to a certain set of individuals, these select few will meet each week or month with the same therapist, in many cases participants are invited to join a closed session.
What Happens In The Sessions?
The most common scenario of group therapy takes place in a room, which has chairs arranged in a circle shape in the centre. This is so all members can see and hear each other clearly. Everyone usually introduces themselves one by one and provides more information as to why they are here. People can share as much as they feel comfortable, they may share past experiences and current successes.
Sessions will differ from place to place as different therapists have preferred styles and methods. In some cases, the session may be guided heavily by the therapist asking questions and sparking conversions, however, some therapists may encourage a more free-style form of dialogue where members can input their own comments as they see fit.
How Can We Help?
At the British CBT and Counselling service, we offer a range of different therapies to help with a large selection of challenges. Many of our services can take place in person or online. You can see all our services on our ‘How we help’ page or you can contact us directly to find out more.