Group therapy can conjure up such a range of images in our minds. We think perhaps of movies we have seen, books we have read or our own personal experiences.
When a group of like-minded people come together with a common goal in mind, group therapy exists. It can be an informal gathering or something more organised. From anger management to alcoholism; from carers groups to anxiety issues, group therapy can be a useful tool for your mental health. Usually led and facilitated by a psychologist, group therapy is a chance to meet with and share the experiences and expertise of others in your position. So what are the advantages? Why would you want to air your dirty laundry in public, as it were?
1. Group therapy is a place for safety, for boundaries and trust. It is a place where no one will judge you and you can express yourself freely within the circle of trust.
2. A trained psychologist is on hand to direct the discussions and ensure that the sessions are productive.
3. Costs may be reduced as you are participating in a group session.
4. You are meeting with others at various stages of the same journey as you. Sessions, such as couples counselling, can provide a wealth of experience that may resonate with your own situation.
5. A degree of accountability is prevalent within the group. You can feel that you want to succeed because you feel a loyalty to the group. This has been proven, in many cases, to be the factor for success in a programme.
6. Clinical psychology in group therapy relates to the well-being of the entire group. Its profile in today’s society is that of any other health service. We should not be afraid to seek out a professional when our mental health is at risk. We certainly would not ignore a pain or injured limb. Group therapy is a way to open up and heal our minds.
In the twenty-first century, our mental health should not be ignored. The brain is a complex organ that is only just being understood after thousands of years of study. With the day to day pressures our developed world living bestows upon us, our mental health is as vital to our survival as our physical health. Our emotions are a delicate thing and we should afford them the same care we give to our teeth or our eyes. Professionals such as psychologists provide essential services for us to call upon, such as clinical psychology, clinical counselling, group therapy, depression counselling and marriage counselling. Having that listening ear to both guide and challenge our thinking is a great way to service and maintain our mental health and provide us with holistic health. So keep talking and take good care of your mental health.