BENEFITS OF GROUPS
Group therapy is a powerful method for addressing mental health issues and offers many benefits to its participants. One particular benefit, is being able to relate to the experiences of others in a group. This can help a person to feel less alone in their struggles. Groups are also a safe place to receive feedback from others about ourselves in ways that encourage us to grow. Observing how others navigate new ways of being in their world can propel members forward as they address the challenges they face in order to change. Finally, this type of therapy can also provide a safe space for participants to develop connections with others while building a network of support they can access in times of distress.
However, group therapy can be a bit overwhelming for some who experience social anxiety or are experiencing significant distress related to psychological difficulties.
The effectiveness of group therapy and whether an individual would be best suited to group or individual therapy can depend on several factors. Some individuals may benefit greatly from group therapy, and some may not. Some find participating in both individual and group therapy at the same time to be very helpful.
For maximum benefit, a group generally requires a minimum of 3-5 students to participate. Groups offered by the Student Counseling Center are promoted for a period of time before beginning. This allows individuals to communicate interest, meet with the facilitator to discuss specific details or concerns related to the group, and determine whether the group would be a good fit for them. Once the minimum number of students have been admitted to the group, the facilitator will contact group members and remind them of the publicized or amended start date.
TYPES OF GROUPS
Different types of groups can use different therapy approaches, and some will use more than one at the same time. Along with the descriptions below are some examples of previous groups offered by our counseling centers in each of these areas.
In this type of group there’s a specific focus on defining, building your knowledge base around a mental health issue, and offering coping strategies to manage symptoms.
Example: Social Relationships Group, Confidence & Self-Acceptance Group
Skills Development Groups
In a skills development group, facilitators focus on introducing and developing new skills you may need to make the best choices for improving your mental health.
Example: Resiliency Group, Coping With Stress Group
An interpersonal process group, or process group, doesn’t necessarily have an agenda or skill that’s being taught. It’s more what members are bringing to the group related to their thoughts and emotions. Process group offers an opportunity to help people unpack what’s happening to them.
Example: Graduate Student Process Group, General Process Group
The purpose of this type of group is to give and receive support from other group members who are going through similar difficulties. A support group can be online or in person.
Example: Grief Support Group, Transgender Support Group