Talking therapies typically are experienced one-to-one with a counsellor or as part of a group. Both can be equally effective but offer a different experience. Some groups will focus on a specific problem, such as social anxiety, stress or bereavement. Others may focus on helping people develop social skills, such as anger management, developing self esteem etc.
The thought of talking in a group of strangers may seem daunting to many people, but being part of a group of people with similar problems can provide benefits that individual therapy does not. For example:
- The group can provide a support network
- Hearing others talk about similar experiences can “normalise” your experience and help you feel less isolated
- You can hear how others have found solutions or coping strategies
- It’s helpful (and hope-full) to see people who are further down the road in their journey
- Sharing your experiences provides support and perspective for others
- The group can hold you accountable for your actions as you make positive changes in your life
- Most groups are a diverse collection of people with different backgrounds and personalities, and this can give you perspectives and solutions that you may not find on your own.
The majority of mental health problems or other issues that bring people to therapy are about or impact on how you relate to other people. Being part of a group can be an ideal environment for you to actually see and work on how these issues play out in a group.