This Byte has been authored by

Mary Ellen D'Intino

So you've been having some struggles.

Someone suggested that you participate in a group.

Backstreet Boys throwback dance GIF. They are wearing all white and doing a synchronized dance.

Not that kind of group! Group therapy.

Two young women listening. One seems distressed and unsure.

How do you know if it's right for you?

Who Could Benefit From Group Therapy?

Group therapy is commonly used as treatment for people who are experiencing:

  • Alcohol and drug dependence

  • Eating disorders

  • Anger issues

  • Anxiety or depression

  • Grief and loss

  • Social skills struggles

Group therapy can help people work towards changing and adapting.

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Quiz

Which of these issues would be suitable for group therapy? Select all that apply.

What to Expect

The format will look something like this:

  • You'll meet with a group of about 5-15 people who are experiencing a similar issue.

  • Sessions take place regularly (usually weekly) and last 1-2 hours.

  • People sit in chairs in a circle formation and take turns talking.

  • A trained mental health provider moderates the group.

Simpsons GIF: People sitting in chairs in a circle, with moderator in middle, and chattering,

Benefits of Group Therapy

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Support Network

You'll meet others who understand your struggles .

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Different Perspectives

You'll receive a range of ideas and suggestions to address your issues.

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Inspiration

Some members are further along in their recovery and can share what helped them make progress.

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Group members challenge and hold each other accountable, if necessary.

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Trained Therapist

The psychotherapist who leads your group will explain research-based strategies for managing your problems.

Group Therapy Isn't For Everyone

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Think twice if:

  • You experience social anxietyIt might be too overwhelming for you to discuss your personal struggles in a group.

  • You prefer more personalized attention — The focus won't always be on you.

  • You are in extreme crisis or suicidal — In these cases, you need immediate intervention from a trained professional.

  • You can't make the commitment — Groups typically meet on the same day and time each week for up to a year.

Who Might Find Group Therapy to Be a Good Fit?

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Abe is having trouble managing his anger. He was recently given a warning at work for blowing up at coworkers and being rude to customers. Abe's work requires regional travel during the week.

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Mona,a part-time college student,has struggled with an eating disorder for years. She was recently discharged from the hospital after receiving intensive treatment and lives in an off-campus apartment.

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Tara is a new mom experiencing postpartum depression. She's shy and has few friends, but her family is supportive. The baby and a part-time job keep her busy 24/7.

Quiz

Who might find group therapy to be a good fit? Select all that apply.

Take Action

If you think group therapy might be for you, take these next steps:

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