Group therapy can increase interpersonal learning through interactions amongst group members. Members often give and receive feedback from one another, which can provide useful information about social behaviors. In addition, group members that have attended a group in the past can model appropriate behaviors for new group members. Often, watching members self-disclose and support one another can enhance the relationships in the group and increase cohesiveness. When cohesiveness in a group increases, so does trust, acceptance, and understanding; therefore, the group develops a closer bond and members become more willing to share. Through this, individuals will experience growth and healing, and begin to experience the benefits of group for themselves.
It is normal to have concerns about group therapy, particularly regarding confidentiality. It is important that when a person attends group, it is understood that anything discussed within the session cannot be shared anywhere, or to anyone, outside of the group. Additionally, some group members may prefer to remain anonymous, which means outside of therapy they may not want to spend time with or acknowledge other group members. It is important to maintain boundaries within a group setting and be respectful of the needs of others.
Group therapy can show clients they are not alone and that other people are experiencing similar difficulties. By seeing group members begin to overcome their struggles, clients can experience an instillation of hope that they too can achieve their goals.
Here at CAPS, we encourage students to attend our groups. We conduct group sessions at various times to accommodate everyone’s schedule. We invite you to come into our center for an initial consultation and discuss the possibility of group with the therapist you meet with. Please click here if you are interested in the groups we will be offering this semester.
Whitney Spears, M.S.
Yalom, I. D., & Leszcz, M. (2005). Theory and practice of group psychotherapy, 5th edition. New York, NY: Basic Books.