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Group therapy sessions are led by a mental health specialist such as a psychologist. They are different options to consider because they work to provide solutions for different mental health behaviors.  In some cases, people participating in group therapy experience better results than an individual session with a therapist.  People may experience better results because they do exercises together with others that can relate to their struggles.  It is a proactive way to cope with mental health concerns under the guidance of a professional.

There are many reasons why people choose to participate in group therapy; some even choose to do so using online therapy with a licensed therapist online. Some may experience feeling unappreciated, isolated, deep emotional pain, and other symptoms. With group therapy, there is less fear of isolation, of not being appreciated, or being judged. It is an option that gives insight into the lives of others in a safe, confidential setting. It is different from a support group setting because group therapy can focus on different behaviors and work to determine why such symptoms occur. Things such as anger management, interpersonal learning, and types of behavioral therapy are practiced in group therapy sessions. Here are five reasons why people participate in group therapies.

  1. Members gain a sense of togetherness.

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People participating in group therapy often feel like they don’t belong, feel isolated, alienated, incompetent or inadequate. While many worry individually that others may look at them differently, in most cases, others can relate to what they are going through.  You learn you are not dealing with struggles alone. Each person’s situation may be different, but your feelings and symptoms may be the same. It makes suffering feel normal, and you can be yourself.

  1. Members support each other, not just themselves.

Many exercises in group therapy encourage members to give and receive support.  Each member doesn’t get personalized therapy one at a time.  Members work to connect, support, and give each other feedback to encourage an engaging environment. An example may include working on the element of isolation. One member may feel isolated if they don’t have friends or someone to reach out. Members of the group listen to their feelings and work to engage them in the group while others share their stories of overcoming or coping with the same thing.  It is an aspect that inspires hope for everyone involved.

  1. Members discover their voice through personal awareness.

People learn to be aware of their feelings, how they expressed and understood their personal needs.  The group facilitator encourages each member of the group to be aware of their current feelings as they participate in the session. Members are encouraged to share their feelings with the group.  Psychologists say this helps challenge members to self-connect while around others.

  1. Members learn in a healthy way how they relate to others.

People can get feedback from group members about their actions toward others. It is a significant aspect that helps you understand why relationships suffer due to symptoms of a mental health concern. Some may feel distant to their loved one, but they are not sure how to get closer to them. You discover why you feel a certain way during different situations when communicating with people in your life.  For example, if a conflict occurs between you and a loved one, how do you respond? Do you turn your back and run away or try to avoid the situation? Group therapy helps members assess their options and work toward taking positive action to improve relations with others. Members assess how they react and share other feelings as they learn how to respond to situations in a healthy manner.

  1. Members build confidence to help them in different areas of their lives.

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Many say group therapies become a safety net. They help them grow as an individual while making it easier to open up with others. People start to feel empowered and willing to take risks that can help them grow in ways never imagined. People see improvement in their relationship skills, and they don’t feel as isolated or alienated as they did early in the process.  Members feel more comfortable about sharing their feelings with others, including people close to them outside of the group.  Anytime encouragement is needed, or you need someone to help you understand something, you have a net that is there to help you.

Group therapy can be a beneficial option for some, but it is not for everyone. Anyone dealing with a life transition, social anxiety, depression, or other mental health concerns may benefit. It may take time and strength to get comfortable in such a setting.  You have to be able to recognize personal needs as well as those of others.  Some find it helpful to attend individual and group therapies for additional understanding and personal growth. You are free to share whatever comes to mind in your group.

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