What Is Process Group Therapy and How Process Group Therapy Helps in Recovery
In a group therapy, patients practice personal interaction with other individuals who share similar experiences.
Process groups are a form of group therapy that comprises an essential component of addiction treatment therapy. They allow people to learn the skills needed to navigate social networks and stress and reduce the inducements to use mood-altering substances again. Learning the skills offered from process groups can be a long progression, but the benefits are worth it.
What is Group Therapy?
Group Therapy is a type of psychotherapy that involves several people and one or more therapists leading the session. This form of therapy is utilized in many different types of treatment centers, such as Overland IOP in Los Angeles, California, as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes individual therapy and medication. In a group therapy session, clients practice personal interaction with other individuals who share similar experiences. Individuals participate in exercises that encourage communication between one another in order to process, cope, and grow.
In a group therapy session, a licensed mental health professional supervises and guides the interactions. They will often set ground rules designed to facilitate the conversation and help clients connect with one another. Groups are mainly constructed with individuals who share the same disorder or similar experience. The process of sharing personal stories and learning from one another is the foundation of an effective group therapy session.
Benefits of Group Therapy
Joining a group of strangers to discuss personal issues may be intimidating to some. However, the benefits of group therapy could help ease the client’s fears. Benefits of group therapy include:
- Building a Support Network: When clients participate in group therapy, they get to meet other people who relate to them on a personal level. They share similar problems and experiences. For someone struggling with mental health issues and co-occurring disorders, it’s easy to feel like they are alone and that no one understands them. This is quickly dismissed in group therapy. Every individual brings a unique perspective and background story, but all share a common ground. Clients are able to provide and gain support from their peers. Best of all, these bonds could continue to grow into friendships and support networks in recovery.
- Sharing Your Story in a Therapeutic Setting: When clients share their stories in group therapy, they express their underlying feelings and emotions. When you’re surrounded by people who feel the same way, expressing these feelings could lead to an outpouring of support. This type of validation is essential in self-healing.
- Learning to Relate to Others: For clients struggling with mental health issues such as social anxiety, depression, anger management, or other socially related disorders, group therapy is highly beneficial. Clients will gain a deeper understanding of others who they relate to. The group facilitator will help these clients learn to interact with one another, and in turn, with others outside of therapy.
- Discovering Insight into Yourself: Unfortunately, no one can observe their own behavior. No one really knows how they come off to others, just as others may not understand why you are coming off that way. Because mental health professionals work to make group therapy sessions a safe and comforting environment, clients will have the opportunity to learn more about themselves while working to improve themselves. When clients open up to one another, they may discover important realizations about themselves as well as their mental health.
What Happens in a Process Group?
In a process group, 5-10 individuals meet face-to-face and share their struggles and concerns in the presence of a trained group therapist. The first few sessions in group therapy involve establishing trust. At the direction of the therapist, everyone usually gives an introduction and states his/her present concerns. After a few sessions, everyone should be comfortable enough with each other so that they can open up, share their feelings, and start developing meaningful relationships. In these meetings, participants regularly express their emotions and discuss current problems with the group, who then agree or disagree with the thoughts or actions of the person leading the conversation. Members are provided the opportunity to receive perspectives, support, encouragement, and feedback from multiple people in a safe and confidential environment. Group members often gain a deepened self-awareness regarding their relationships with others and leave group therapy feeling empowered.
Published: February 15, 2021
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