Group therapy is an area of psychotherapy which can be a stand-alone treatment or, an important part of an integrated treatment plan. A group therapy session will typically involve at least one, but possibly more than one therapist, working with a group of people all at the same time.
This form of therapy is widely used all over the world, and has been common practice with professionally trained counsellors and therapists for over fifty years now.
As human beings, we are rarely in a solitary environment. Throughout our lives we live, grow and work and develop amongst others in families, schools, organisations and companies. Group therapy emulates these environments by bringing together people so that they can share their problems, concerns and their feelings with each other. It allows people with similar problems, to come to terms with their situation and to learn from, and with one another.
There is no doubting the value and effectiveness of group therapy, especially in certain appropriate situations. It can be a particularly effective treatment for depression, trauma and addiction and the support and encouragement that therapy can provide through the members of the group is invaluable. The group see for themselves that there are others going through the same thing as them, and that they do not have to struggle through it alone.
Another benefit of this form of therapy is the encouragement that can be gained by other members of the group, from seeing other members as role models. As others are seen to be improving and dealing with their issues, this can serve as vital inspiration for the rest of the group.
The group session allows the counsellor to observe how the individuals cope with other members of the group, and the issues and situations that they discuss. This allows the counsellor to provide invaluable feedback to each client, to help them with their recovery. Group sessions are also cost effective, as a counsellor can treat several people at a time, which can work out much cheaper for the individuals in the group than a one on one session.