Do Group Counseling Activities Help?
Group counseling is usually used to have a small selection of individuals explore their own experiences and give them the opportunity to compare with others who have had similar experiences. It can be used to provide therapy for a variety of different issues, including self-esteem, coping skills, relationships, and more difficult problems like abuse. It's often used in tandem with standard individual therapy as part of a complete treatment plan, and may also be coupled with medication and other coping methods. But do group counseling activities actually do anything and are they worth participating?
What Happens in Therapy?
The on-duty consultant or your therapist will often determine whether or not to put you in group counseling and this may be mandatory, you'll then be sent to a group leader for screening. Once you're screened, the leader will get to know you and let you know about the group to make sure you're a good fit. While you may still feel resistant and hesitant, they do have your best interests, so an open mind is good.
Is it Effective?
Group counseling activities have been found to be effective for several different problems. They're especially helpful for issues that relate to family and relationships with others, since common problems include isolation, loneliness, trust, reassurance, abandonment, and intimacy. It is also the therapy most commonly used for anxiety, depression, eating disorders, traumatic experiences, substance abuse, social anxiety, interpersonal problems, and chronic illnesses. The reason for this is that many of these issues include some degree of withdrawal or issues with communication, so being in an environment that effectively forces communication with others improves those skills.
What Do Group Counseling Activities Help?
There are a variety of skills that can be improved by group counseling activities including learning to communicate better and being more comfortable communicating. Many times participants realize their own feelings better when examining others by seeing their own feelings reflected, and so they can better understand their own inner feelings. It's also an ideal time to get safe feedback from others without judgement and have honesty. As this can be a novel experience to some, this is a time to experiment and learn about how to express themselves better, act better, and relate better to others.
Group therapy usually begins by telling the group a little about yourself and why you're there. As with any therapy, having a goal that you hope to achieve at the end is important and if you know there's something you will particularly need support with or have a tendency to bulldoze over, let them know.
It is expected to talk about your feelings, even if it's hard at first, since most of the problems relating to group therapy stem from unexpressed feelings. Group therapy works best when you actively participate and are honest during your experience. Give feedback, both to yourself and to others, and experiment with everything you're learning during that time. Don't forget to practice between sessions, too.
Is it Private?
Group sessions are always confidential, and leaders are trained professionals. While there's no absolute fealty, most participants understand the need for a degree of privacy. And to ensure participants' safety, some issues may not stay confidential and will be shared with other therapists to help. Trust that they have your best interests at heart.
Group counseling activities come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and while it's unlikely you'll need to search out one on your own, your therapist might have some in mind for you. If you're still researching a therapist to help, consider heading to BetterHelp and browsing the selection, so that you can take a step towards group interaction with trained professionals.