As a psychologist, you’ve got to admit that group therapy does have a few benefits. In fact, most psychologists even consider group therapy to be a lot more mutative and powerful than individual therapy. To properly understand group therapy, you must, first, understand the different types of group therapies that you can administer. As a person who has studied online PhD psychology, you should know all these group therapies. You know, just in case, you need to enroll one or more of your patients in any. Some groups focus more on interpersonal learning whereas other groups such as support groups focus on what’s occurring in their lives outside their groups. Then there are also the ‘hybrid groups’ where your patients share both their lives outside the group and talk about the dynamics in the group too.
There is also the psychoeducational groups where your patients learn specific skills like dialectical therapy or anger management.
When you look at all these groups, the one thing that they all have in common is that people come together. Then, under the leadership of a professional therapist, work to try and improve their lives one way or another. Also, a group therapy session usually consists of between four and ten people. And they should meet for at least 90 minutes every week.
Besides making your patients better people, what else does group therapy benefit patients with?
- Facilitates giving and receiving support
Most people tend to believe that group therapy only involves its members taking turns in receiving individual therapy from their therapists at a time while other members observe. However, this can’t be any further from true. Instead, what happens in the group therapy sessions is that members encourage others and themselves to support one another. Group therapy members support, connect, and look for feedback from one another. The members that take the group therapy sessions don’t necessarily get all these from their psychologists.
If, for example, one member feels lonely or isolated within the group, then the other members can work to make him/her more comfortable. They can do this by listening to these types of people whenever they talk and engage with them in their group therapy sessions. This can help to significantly decrease any sense of isolation or loneliness any member might have.
Having taken online PhD psychology, you must know to encourage your group therapy members to also openly share their experiences with other members. When other members do this, it helps make the others more open to these types of sessions. So, even the members who didn’t believe that they could navigate their loneliness or isolated situations know that it is possible.
- Members can easily relate to others in healthier ways
Sometimes, the only way you can know why your relationships with others aren’t working is by testing it yourself. And a healthy group therapy session works to make that happen. Group therapy sessions are often safe. Plus, you can be sure that you’ll get honest feedback from the other members.
Most group therapy sessions work to help psychologists know how the group members relate to others and themselves as well. Group therapy, therefore, provides a more natural setting compared to the individual therapy sessions. You can easily tell which of the group members hang back until someone approaches them. Or whether you are the type who always takes the lead and spark up conversations. Great group therapy sessions even involve its members showing what parts about themselves that they let others see and the ones they prefer to keep hidden.
As a psychologist, you can also encourage your group therapy members to try out other ways of relating. Take, for instance, a scenario where you give your group therapy members advice. You might also want to share with them what’s motivating you to give them that advice.
By doing this, your group members get to see more choices available to them on how they can relate to others. So, that they can get out of their relational ruts and liberate themselves from patterns of relationships that aren’t serving them.
- You realize that you are not alone
Many patients that join group therapy sessions do so thinking that they are the only ones with unacceptable, frightening problems, impulses, fantasies, and thoughts. It’s true that every person is unique in their own way, and circumstances. However, it is essential to note that none of us are alone in the struggles we face. Every person struggles in their own way. But that doesn’t mean that you struggle alone. You realize that most problems are usually startlingly similar. Therefore, if you can join and come together in a group therapy session, then you will definitely feel you are not alone in your struggles. Group therapy works to reduce alienation and isolation. You get more of a, ‘we are in this together’ feeling.
- You’ll find your voice
In a good group therapy session, you become more aware of your feelings and needs as an individual. And you also know how best you can express these feelings. This is a critical aspect of your online PhD psychology course as it touches on your members’ emotions. It is, therefore, crucial for clinicians to advise their group therapy patients to notice all their emotions throughout their sessions. And as they do this, they also try and talk about it as much as they can.
This might be a challenging process as most times these patients don’t even know how they’re feeling most of the time as they interact with people. It’s never easy to be self-connected when you are also trying to connect with others.
- Provides a safety net
Group therapy allows members to carry the group’s support between sessions. And this helps to make it easier for members to take risks. For one, you will know that you have a group of people that you can go back and report to and share with your experiences. This idea itself will help to make you feel a lot braver. It’s kind of like the feeling of knowing that someone will be there to catch you every time you leap.
Group therapy comes with a myriad of benefits that patients can enjoy especially if the sessions are targeted right. It takes a lot of strength and recognition to get a good functioning group that other people can’t destroy. Try out group therapy today and see how well it works out for you and your issues. If anything, the outcome will be nothing short of success.