A woman is comforted by an unseen psychiatrist while sitting in group therapy.When people think about mental health services, group therapy is often the first thing that comes to mind. With its relative ease of access and ability to treat a variety of mental health conditions, group therapy has become an extremely popular mental health treatment option.

If you’re looking into group therapy, you probably have important questions and concerns. What is group therapy all about? What are its benefits? And what actually happens during group therapy?

Sierra Vista Hospital answers all these questions, and more, to prepare you for this unique therapeutic option.

What is Group Therapy?

Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy that involves a small group of people, typically around 6-12 people, meeting regularly with one or more trained therapists. The group members share their personal experiences and struggles, and the therapist facilitates discussions and activities to help them work through their issues.

Group therapy can be used either by itself or integrated into a treatment plan. It’s typically used to address a variety of mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD and substance use disorder. It can also help people cope with difficult life challenges, such as relationship problems, anger management, terminal illnesses and trauma.

As far as mental health services go, group therapy is typically an accessible and effective treatment option.

When is group therapy appropriate?

Group therapy requires open vulnerability and a willingness to share among a group. Therefore, it may be better suited for those seeking a sense of community, social connection, multiple perspectives and shared experiences.

When is group therapy not appropriate?

Conversely, group therapy may not be suitable for those who get overwhelmed by group environments and have specific privacy concerns.

Furthermore, group therapy may not be effective for those who struggle in social settings or those who find it challenging to trust strangers with their personal experiences.

Types of Group Therapy

There are different types of group therapy based on the goals and needs of those partaking in it. Group therapy modalities include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) groups: Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on addressing negative thought patterns and changing them by incorporating healthier coping mechanisms.
  • Support Groups: Support groups give participants a safe platform to share their experiences and offer mutual understanding and support.
  • Psychoeducational Groups: Psychoeducational groups aim to teach participants topics regarding mental health, treatment and coping strategies.
  • Skills Development Groups: Skills development groups focus on helping participants nurture and develop social skills in a safe and understanding environment.
  • Psychodynamic Groups: Psychodynamic groups help participants dive into their unconscious thoughts and emotions with the goal of achieving self-awareness and deeper insight into themselves.

Why is Group Therapy Beneficial?

Unlike other forms of therapy, group therapy presents a unique set of benefits that make it an attractive choice for those with varying levels of mental health challenges. The benefits of group therapy:

Cost-friendliness and accessibility

Group therapy typically tends to be a more affordable alternative than individual or family therapy. This is because in group therapy the costs for one therapist are shared among the group members.

Group therapy is also offered in many settings, including in psychiatric inpatient and outpatient programs, private therapeutic offices, local mental health organizations and community centers. This makes group therapy a highly accessible treatment option.

Community and support

One of the benefits of group therapy is that the participants often share similar experiences or challenges. This can help build a sense of community and support. In group therapy, people learn that they are not alone in their struggles, creating a sense of belonging and connection that may be missing from treatment options such as individual therapy. Furthermore, group therapy provides a safe and understanding environment for people to open up and be vulnerable.

Multiple perspectives

Another benefit of group therapy is that it enables participants to interact with people who may have different perspectives and viewpoints than them. This, in turn, enables people to engage in deeper conversation, leading to personal development and growth.

Hope and encouragement

Group therapy also enables people to interact with people in all stages of recovery. Newcomers, for example, may listen to the recovery journey of someone who has been in group therapy for months and hear about their progress. This can help demonstrate that recovery and mental wellness is possible, providing a sense of hope and encouragement.

Activities For Group Therapy

Another benefit of group therapy is that it integrates a variety of activities to promote personal development and therapeutic goals.

Activities for group therapy include:

  • Sharing activities: During sharing activities, the therapist encourages open dialogue and sharing from the people there.
  • Role-playing exercises: In this exercise, people practice social scenarios or challenging situations in a safe environment.
  • Mindfulness activities: People learn how to cultivate self-awareness and stress reduction techniques.
  • Team-building activities: The therapist promotes collaboration, trust and communication skills among people in the group.
  • Art therapy: Participants use different forms of art to explore their emotions and foster self-discovery.
  • Journaling: People engage in self-reflection by using writing prompts for journaling.

Help Is Available at Sierra Vista Hospital

Group therapy is a popular mental health treatment option due to its many benefits, typologies and techniques used to achieve improved well-being.

Sierra Vista Hospital, located in Sacramento, California, is here for your mental and behavioral health needs. We provide inpatient and outpatient psychiatric services to adults and adolescents seeking improved mental well-being. Our individualized treatment plans ensure that each person’s needs and challenges are met.

Learn more about how we can help by giving us a call at 916-273-4300 or get in contact with us by using this form.

About Sierra Vista Hospital

Sierra Vista Hospital is a private behavioral health facility that provides psychiatric and chemical dependency treatment through inpatient and outpatient programming. We also provide inpatient alcohol detox and outpatient chemical dependency services. With a team of licensed professionals committed to giving the highest quality care, we pride ourselves on having a compassionate and nurturing environment.

We offer care to adults and adolescents in the Sacramento area and also serve those through the northern and central California area. Some of our services include inpatient treatment for adults and adolescents and as well as our outpatient treatment for adults and adolescents. Our facility has  been providing support for our patients and their families since 1986.

To schedule a no-cost assessment or for more information, please call 916-273-4300.