In my office, Group Therapy is about getting on with moving on. It is for people who are ready to share, discuss, and plan their lives with the help and support of other individuals. The group process develops sharing of common concerns, how others may have faced these concerns, and a sense of hope for future growth and development.
Group Therapy is therapy that happens in a small group of individuals (6-12 members). The group meets with a trained group therapist for the purpose of personal growth and healing. Members agree to maintain confidentiality -- to not discuss any group content outside the group. During the group meetings, members decide what they want to talk about. While openness is encouraged, no one is forced to reveal information that they choose to keep private.
Group therapy is not about the therapist/facilitator performing individual therapy with each group member in front of other people.
Through interacting with others in the group, members learn and understand more about themselves and their effect on others outside the group through the feedback they receive from their fellow group members. People in the group provide emotional support and fellowship for one another. In this environment where trust and safety are built, members can express their thoughts and feelings more freely than they may be able to do outside the group -- even with others with whom they are closest. As the therapist, I help keep the group on track and promote an environment appropriate for sharing, feedback and support. Group therapy is similar to support groups with regard to alleviation of symptoms, enhancing coping, offering alternatives and providing comfort, but change is also emphasized, especially in the area of interpersonal relating. Support groups and group therapy are both led by a trained therapist, whereas in self-help groups, a professional is usually not appointed as a leader.