What is Group counseling?
Group counseling is a type of counseling where a small group of people meets regularly to discuss, interact, and explore problems with each other and the group leader. Group counseling seeks to give people a safe and comfortable place where they can work out problems and emotional concerns. Members gain insight into their own thoughts and behavior and offer suggestions and support to others.
In addition, people who have a difficult time with interpersonal relationships can benefit from the social interactions that are a basic part of the group counseling experience.
Most groups composed of students of differing ages, backgrounds, and experiences. This helps to provide additional perspectives.
The Objectives Of Group Counseling
People who participate in counseling groups benefit in many ways. We believe that groups are uniquely suited to help people undergoing common as well as various issues.
- Give and receive support.
- Gain an understanding of problems and explore possible solutions.
- Practice interpersonal skills in a safe group setting.
- Learn more about how you come across to others.
- Increase observation and feedback skills.
- Enhance problem-solving skills.
- Improve emotional expressiveness.
- Decrease social isolation.
- Develop good communication skills.
- The group contains members at different stages of the treatment process. Seeing people who are coping or recovering gives hope to those at the beginning of the process.
- The group setting is a great place to practice new behaviors. The setting is safe and supportive, allowing group members to experiment without the fear of failure.
- Being part of a group of people who have the same experiences helps people see that what they are going through is universal and that they are not alone.
- Individuals can model the behavior of other members of the group or observe and imitate the behavior of the therapist.
- Sharing feelings and experiences with a group of people can help relieve pain, guilt, or stress.
- While working within a group offers support and guidance, group therapy helps members realize that they are responsible for their own lives, actions, and choices.
- The group is much like a family in some ways. Within the group, each member can explore how childhood experiences contributed to personality and behaviors. They can also learn to avoid behaviors that are destructive or unhelpful in real life.
- Group members can share their strengths and help others in the group, which can boost self-esteem and confidence.
How does it work?
Groups can be as small as three or four people, but group therapy sessions often involve around eight to twelve individuals (although it is possible to have more participants). The group typically meets once or twice each week, or more, for an hour or two.
So, what does a typical group therapy session look like? In many cases, the group will meet in a room where the chairs are arranged in a large circle so that each member can see every other person in the group. A session might begin with members of the group introducing themselves and sharing why they are in group therapy. Members might also share their experiences and progress since the last meeting.
The precise way the session is conducted depends largely on the goals of the group and the style of the therapist. Some therapists might encourage a more free-form style of dialogue, where each member participates as he or she sees fit. Other therapists instead have a specific plan for each session that might include having clients practice new skills with other members of the group.
Benefits of Group Therapy
- According to studies, group therapy helps in depression and other issues where members form a kind of support system and benefit from interactions.
- They get to learn and learn in safe and familiar surroundings without much discomfort.
- It gives them enough exposure to put learnings into practice without waiting for external exposure to begin with.
- The therapist gets to witness different responses to the same stimuli making for an interesting study and thereby providing good counseling and effective therapy.
- Group therapy is often more affordable as compared to one on one sessions.
- People may become more hopeful in such surroundings.