Therapy can be a powerful tool in healing past traumas and present hurts. But the key to having a successful therapy experience is picking the right kind of therapy for your specific needs. Group therapy is not going to work for everyone, just as individual psychotherapy sessions are not for everyone. Understanding what you can expect from a group therapy session is just the first key in determining if it is the right counseling method to suit your needs.
The first thing to expect as you begin your search for the right group therapy session is to be exposed to a wide array of different specialists within the group therapy umbrella. The term group therapy describes the method in which the session will take place, and that method is effective in treating a wide variety of social and psychological ills. Anyone is contemplating undergoing treatment will want to make sure that their therapist is trained in the specific area of counseling that they require treatment in, along with having experience in leading group therapy sessions. Marriage counseling, family therapy and substance abuse treatment are just some of the examples of successful group therapy sessions that can be beneficial.
The session itself will be led by a trained therapist. This therapist should be a licensed mental health care professional. The job of the therapist is to direct the questions and overall healing process of the group therapy sessions. Many groups actually employ two therapists or more in order to get a wider array of experience and expertise.
Along with the therapist(s), individuals are expected to sit in a comfortable, casual setting with peers who require the same type of help that you do. Although the atmosphere is usually casual to help the patients relax, there are certain expectations that you will be expected to follow during the counseling session. The most important of these is to listen and be respectful of your fellow peers at all times. Everyone in the group needs to feel safe and secure in the ability to talk to one another, and they should never be made to feel as though they are in danger of being mocked or belittled for their problems. In addition to listening, you may be required to talk, and provide the same level of feedback to your group as they provide to you.
Some types of group therapy also encourage outside participation in the form of reading books or other types of “homework”. The purpose of these activities is to provide a better cohesive unit to the overall group, in order to make the group more effective at helping each other heal. You’ll be expected to participate in these activities, as well.
Group therapy sessions typically last at least six weeks and sometimes up to twelve weeks. The average cost ranges.