It is human nature to take comfort in the feeling that others struggle with the same things we do. The benefits of group therapy are numerous, and many studies have shown group therapy to be just as successful as individual therapy sessions. There are likely several factors contributing to the success of group therapy.
Benefits of Group Therapy
Getting together for group sessions helps with the feelings of solitude and isolation people may struggle with as they work through their issues. Every person is different and has different ways of coping, but there are basic struggles we all share that are intrinsic to being human. Just realizing that simple concept can be very powerful and beneficial to people.
Group therapy can also help people develop new skills to cope with the struggles and challenges they face. Hearing one person’s way of overcoming an obstacle might spark something in another person who can then apply the strategy to his or her own life. There is no one way of doing anything, and getting multiple perspectives can be very beneficial.
On a similar note, group therapy sessions can help people relate to others. The dynamics of the group will often mirror society in general, and interacting with others is a great way to build skills for building and strengthening relationships outside of the group as well. Some participants may not be confident about their social skills or do well in social situations, and the group interaction can give them the skills and assurance they need to improve their relationships.
We are naturally able to feel both supported and challenged in group therapy. As trust develops over time, everyone begins to feel comfortable sharing their feelings honestly. People will give and receive advice, both of which will make them feel good. When someone can see firsthand that they’ve helped others, it makes them feel valued and improves their self-esteem.
The sense of support that comes from group therapy sessions may actually be beneficial for our physical health as well as our mental health. In a 1989 report by Stanford University’s David Spiegel, MD and his colleagues, it was demonstrated that women with metastatic breast cancer who participated in their study lived an average of 18 months longer if they participated in supportive group therapy than if they didn’t. And while much more research is needed to prove an actual scientific connection, it does show that the mind/body connection can be very powerful.
Who Benefits from Group Therapy?
Group therapy is suitable for a wide variety of problems and struggles, ranging from people with anxiety and depression to people who have suffered trauma or PTSD. It is ideal for people who are struggling with relationships issues like intimacy, trust and self-esteem.
Group therapy sessions are held jointly by Dr. Tucker and his wife, Desiree. They include women’s groups, adolescent groups and life coaching and always offer a supportive environment. Click here to learn more.