As its name implies, group therapy is a unique form of therapy in which several individuals regularly meet to help themselves and one another. Group therapy is moderated by a professional, licensed therapist. The therapist also assembles the group, selecting people she believes will be helpful to one another. Most group therapy sessions are made up of five to ten individuals, who agree to meet at least once a week, usually for 75 to 90 minutes per meeting. In many cases, a group is comprised of individuals facing the same mental health issues, such as, clinical depression, or anxiety disorders, substance abuse, or eating disorders, and personality disorders, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Groups also address interpersonal issues like aging, sexual relationships, and anger. Whatever the topic, there are many benefits of group therapy! For starters, group sessions help the members understand that their problems are very real but not unique. Talking to members who are further along in their healing process can inspire, while supporting others can empower. The group dynamic is a useful microcosm of life for people with interpersonal issues. Plus, group therapy often costs half as much as individualized sessions. A drawback of group therapy is that it's sometimes difficult to speak in front of virtual strangers. Worried about privacy? Well don't. Group therapy sessions are completely confidential! A downside of group therapy is the very nature of the activity. Truly individualized time is not offered. For this reason, many group patients also attend individual psychotherapy. Learn more about group therapy by visiting the American Group Therapy Association website, or ask your doctor how to find a licensed group therapist near you.
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Last Updated:December 20, 2012