When most people consider therapy or counseling, they immediately think of individual counseling services. While engaging in individual help is undoubtedly a useful tool, group counseling services also provide a number of benefits for people experiencing grief, trauma, life transitions or stressors, and a variety of mental health disorders.
More, now than ever, group counseling is becoming increasingly accessible. Many group counseling sessions are available via services like Zoom as well as in person, making it easier for more people to participate.
How Group Counseling Works
Most group counseling services take place in a neutral space with a group leader. The leader is a licensed therapist with experience in the specific niche you’re participating in. Generally, the group is small – around no more than 10 people – to ensure that everyone has a chance to speak and to make people feel more comfortable.
During the course of treatment, everyone in the group will have a chance to speak, listen, and respond. The important thing to remember is to respect the other group members. Everyone has different experiences to share, some of which may surprise you and many of which you may learn from. The group leader will also provide guidance and education regarding tools to manage symptoms and improve quality of life.
How Can Group Counseling Help Me?
Below are some of the top benefits of looking into group counseling as a supplement to one-on-one counseling:
Meet Others With Similar Life Experiences
Support can sometimes feel hollow when it comes from people who have never been in similar situations as you have. It helps to be able to talk to other people who know what you’ve gone through and can sympathize with you.
Grief and life transitions are two situations that can make you feel alone. When you’re able to see that others are also going through the same things or have similar feelings to you, it may help you feel like there are others who understand you.
Gain New Perspectives
On the other side of the coin, you can also see how others who have gone through similar situations have coped. They may have techniques for moving through grief that you haven’t considered before. Being open and receptive to others’ stories gives you a wider worldview that can ultimately help you begin healing.
Get Unbiased Feedback
When you’re deep in your own story, it can sometimes be difficult to see it from an objective place. Group therapy can help you see your problems from a different viewpoint, which may make them seem easier to overcome.
Not only can the group share their experiences with you, but the leader can help guide the discussion in ways that may provide multiple possible solutions, allowing you to choose what works best for you.
See What’s Possible
Listening to others’ stories can be empowering and inspirational. It allows you to see what people are capable of overcoming or moving past since group counseling often includes people in all different stages of the healing process.
As new members join, you may also begin to see how far you’ve come on your own journey. It provides an ideal opportunity for self-reflection.
GBCC provides a variety of group counseling services, including:
- Women’s Relationship Support Group
- Chronic Pain & Illness Support Group
- Bereavement Support Group
- Men’s Support Group