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The Benefits of Group Therapy

Woman looking relieved surrounded by a group of supportive people.

Healing in the Company of Other People

Sometimes what we’re looking for is someone who can relate to our pain or challenges. We may feel that the only way we can heal is to be around others who “get it” because they’ve experienced it too in some way.  Perhaps we’re not ready to dive into the pain and process just yet.  But we’re still needing something, support of some kind. However, we’ve exhausted our inner circle, our support system, our one person we can confide in. They don’t seem to get it. They avoid us. They don’t know what to say or what to do with our stories. Or maybe they don’t believe us. 

Man sharing his story to a group of people listening attentively.

What is Group Therapy

Group therapy is a coming together of people who share a common experience. Group therapy is a safe space to explore parts of our own stories with others who have been through something similar. Group therapy serves as an opportunity for participants to share their unique experiences with others who can relate in some way.

Groups can be tailored to very specific needs such as parents who have lost a child, domestic violence, pregnant and parenting teens, or substance abuse.  The value of group therapy lies in the participation and connections that form within each group session. Groups can vary in age and number of participants. 

Woman in a group seated in a circle sharing her story.

How Does Group Therapy Work

Group therapy works by having the therapist or psychologist in charge of the group, the group leader, lead the discussion and guide interactions. Group leaders are trained to make sure that the space feels safe for everyone to engage in and address and resolve instances when it doesn’t feel that way. In our everyday life, parts of our stories may become charged, or emotional and hard for those around us to hear. The purpose of the group is to allow space for others to offer validation, understanding, and insight to each other. We may not feel ready to share our whole story or even know how to tell it. Engaging in group therapy can offer support by listening to the stories of others. Sharing part of your story might be the reason someone else gains the courage to share theirs. 

Written by:

Lauren Pena MFT, ATR, LMFT # 130687

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