What is Group Therapy?
Whether you’re brand new to mental health care or working on improving specific skills, group therapy can be a great way to achieve your personal goals.
Group therapy is one of many forms of psychotherapy we may recommend to individuals as a part of their treatment plan. In group therapy, one or more providers works with a group of patients to unpack their personal challenges, learn healthy behaviors and implement new skills in challenging situations.
Participants do not need to be a patient of Gladstone in order to experience the benefits of our group therapy program. Anyone may attend a group therapy session as part of a wider treatment plan or an individual endeavor.
What does a typical group therapy session look like?
In group therapy sessions, one or more psychotherapists work with a group of participants, often 6 to 12 people. Many therapy groups bring individuals together who share similar life experiences like substance use disorder, anxiety or grief.
When group therapy is portrayed on television, it often includes a group of people sitting in a circle of metal folding chairs. However, at Gladstone, we create a warm and inviting atmosphere where individuals feel comfortable.
From the curated readings placed throughout our offices, to welcoming spaces with snacks and beverages, Gladstone has thought about all of the little things that have a substantial impact on an individual’s ability to focus and feel more at ease before and during sessions. By prioritizing the patient experience, our group therapy participants feel more comfortable opening up about their challenges and working towards positive outcomes.
Group therapy often involves much more than just listening and sharing. Common group therapy activities include:
- Icebreakers where participants get to know one another
- Journaling about past experiences and how they made us feel
- Goal-setting and planning to encourage concrete progress
- Role-play to practice deploying new skills in challenging situations
We currently offer a group for people who are dealing with ongoing stress, anxiety and depression. Our group therapy program is a calm and safe space where you can talk about the struggles you face with others who share the same difficulties. Using mindfulness and stress management strategies, you will learn and practice techniques that will benefit you in your day to day life.
What are the benefits of group therapy over individual therapy?
Group therapy can be a wonderful alternative or supplement to individual therapy and medication management. People seeking treatment for specific mental health conditions such as PTSD, substance use disorder, eating disorders or other conditions can benefit from group therapy.
Individuals can gain valuable support and skills to help them cope with:
The benefits of group therapy
Get support from peers.
In group therapy, participants meet with peers who share similar experiences, goals and challenges. This network can offer feedback on challenges or just a listening ear for your challenges, so that you are reminded you are not alone.
See your challenges from an alternative perspective.
Each participant comes to the group with a unique perspective and life experience. This diversity of perspectives helps patients consider alternative pathways or behaviors that may be beneficial in your recovery.
Gain a sense of belonging.
Many individuals struggle with feelings of isolation and may feel misunderstood by their peers. Participants in group therapy often have shared experiences and work towards a united goal of recovery. Participants thus feel less alone.
Build a peer group who can help to hold you accountable.
Participants in peer groups learn proven skills to address their unique challenges. Along with valuable skills-building, your peer group helps to hold you accountable to your mental health goals.
Speak openly about your challenges with others.
The act of sharing is on its own therapeutic. Discussing your feelings with a group can provide crucial catharsis.
Practice new skills.
The group therapy setting is a safe and non-judgmental space for participants to learn new skills and practice them without fear. Fellow participants provide an excellent sounding board to practice new techniques and can offer constructive feedback.
Inhabit an authoritative role.
Participants inhabit dual roles in group therapy as both the patient and the therapist, often providing feedback and suggestions to peers. This experience can drive individuals to instill this behavior in their everyday lives and shed new light on their challenges.
Skills learned in group therapy
individuals learn to practice mindfulness and stress management strategies that can be applied in their everyday lives. Therapy doesn’t start and stop during a session. Participants work together, holding each other accountable, practicing healthy behaviors and identifying opportunities for growth as a group. At Gladstone, we understand that it’s ongoing and we work with individuals to provide them tools in order to help further positive outcomes from treatment.
How To Get Started:
Our group therapy session runs every Monday from 6:30-8 PM, and is led by a skilled clinician.
To join us:
Reach out to the Gladstone Psychiatry and Wellness care team. Inquire at the front desk of any of our locations or give us a call.
Schedule an assessment to determine if group therapy is right for you. Each therapy group is unique, and much like psychiatric medication, it can take time to find the best group therapy for your unique challenges and goals. Our care team will get to know you to see if our group therapy is a good fit.
Contact your health insurance provider. Payment for group therapy sessions are covered by applicable insurance providers. We accept a wide variety of insurance providers at Gladstone. Not covered by insurance? You can still attend a group for our out-of-network fee.