Group Therapy – Strength in Numbers!
- Category: Mental Health
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The thought of attending a group therapy session may at first feel intimidating, particularly if you suffer from shyness or anxiety. Gathering with a group of strangers to discuss your innermost thoughts and trauma is definitely a seemingly daunting task. However, group therapy is an effective form of psychotherapy that aids in the treatment of various mental health issues, including depression, loss, and anxiety. Sessions are usually conducted by one or more counselors, who lead discussion topics and encourage open dialogue among participants so that they learn from one another’s unique experiences.
Group therapy sessions give attendees the opportunity to gain support and encouragement from others who can relate to their experiences. “Group therapy allows clients to learn how to express their issues with others [and] develop self-awareness by talking with others with similar issues,” says Bart Mongiello, LCSW, Director of Outpatient Mental Health Services.
During a productive group therapy session, participants are ultimately a part of each person’s recovery. The diverse personalities and backgrounds of the participants allow them to get a range of perspectives on their individual situations. Group therapy sessions are motivating and effectively teach participants how to self-reflect, facilitating their treatment.
Benefits of group therapy are numerous, but the following are a few of the major advantages for participants.
- Participants receive the support and encouragement of the other members of the group. Unlike in individualized therapy sessions, participants get the benefit of camaraderie from those going through similar experiences. “Group therapy helps you realize you're not alone, give and receive support, express yourself, hear from other clients, and have a safe space to talk,” says Mr. Mongiello.
- Group therapy is often very affordable. Group therapy sessions are often more affordable than individualized therapy, so it can be a cost-effective solution for mental health.
- Group therapy can be tailored to the participants’ needs. Interested participants can request group therapy for specific issues at Christian Health, as groups are routinely evaluated and updated. “Clients ask for certain topics, or clinicians recognize that patients with similar issues might benefit from working together in a group,” Mr. Mongiello says.
- By working in a group, the therapist can see firsthand how each person responds to other people and behaves in social situations. “Group therapy gives clients a time and space to share concerns with others, receive feedback, and be part of a team that helps each other – this can be rewarding and powerful,” says Mr. Mongiello.
Group therapy is just one of the several treatment modalities offered at Christian Health, where clients of all ages can learn to cope with trauma, loss, and a variety of mental health issues in order to function healthily and share these experiences with others who can relate. A wide range of groups are available, including Meditation and Mindfulness, Phase of Life Group for Women, and Adult Psychotherapy.
“We welcome new members,” Mr. Mongiello says. “It’s what keeps our groups going strong.”
To find out more about the group therapy option at Christian Health, please call (201) 848-5500.