The American Psychological Association says that group therapy can be an effective way for individuals to address issues they are struggling with, ultimately leading to positive life changes. A typical group session is led by one or more trained professionals, and will feature a group of between five and fifteen patients. Therapy groups tend to meet for one to two hours each week, and some individuals may choose to enroll in individual therapy sessions to complement the work their therapy group does. The topics covered in group therapy vary: while some groups will have a more generalized focus (like helping improve self esteem issues or social skills), others will take a more specific one (like substance abuse or depression).
In terms of treating depression, studies have strongly suggested that group therapy is an effective treatment route. A 2019 study looked into how effective a web and mobile based group program was in treating individuals struggling with depression. Over the study’s course, its participants reported that they experienced significant improvements in their overall health and symptoms of depression. Furthermore, a three month follow up period was conducted in the study’s participants, who reported stable improvements over its course. A 2014 study reported that group treatment for depression is likely to cause significant improvements in individuals at both individual and group levels.
Some benefits of group therapy include but are not limited to:
- Diversity - because individuals from all different walks of life and backgrounds join therapy groups, each group member has the potential to view situations in various ways. Because of this, people in therapy groups may be able to glean unique insights from fellow group members on how they can address their specific problems. This can lead to the discovery of an entire new set of avenues through which one can deal with their individual issues.
- A sounding board - therapy groups may not only function as a support network, but also as a sounding board through which individuals can work through different ways to potentially handle a tough time in their life while being held accountable by other group members.
- Perspective - being in a therapy group can help individuals keep their own issues in perspective. While experiencing mental health difficulties can seem incredibly alienating, being in a group therapy setting with others who are going through similar experiences can offer a sense of relief that one is not alone in their struggles.
In terms of choosing the right group therapy setting, there are various factors you may want to consider, such as:
- Is the therapy group open or closed? While open therapy groups allow individuals to join the group whenever they’d like, closed ones ensure the same group members stay on for a several week-long session.
- How many people are in each group session? Smaller groups could mean members receive more individual support, while larger therapy groups may involve more perspectives and diversity.
- How much should one share in a session? Therapy groups are built on confidentiality and trust, and everyone is there for a similar reason. Group therapy functions at its best when it involves honest discussion between those involved.
- How alike or dissimilar are group members? Experts say that therapy groups tend to be the most effective when group members are going through similar issues and levels of functionality.
Here at Grouport, we offer online group therapy for a wide range of topics, including but not limited to depression. Upon enrolling in our services, each of our new clients will receive a 20-minute consultation from a trained mental healthcare professional. They will then be matched with a group best suited to their needs; this group will meet at the same day and time each week for an hour. You can find more FAQs here.