Group Therapy For Emotional Healing


Many times individuals come to counseling with feelings of guilt and shame because they feel like they are alone in their struggles. Hearing the voices of others with similar stories can alleviate some of those anxieties. Group therapy is an excellent tool for individuals to engage in when they are in need of help overcoming personal challenges. It can be helpful to recovery to hear stories of other people who are experiencing the same struggles.

When a person feels as if they are not alone they are often more apt to open up about their struggles. Hearing stories about how other people have faced similar circumstances can help each member to understand their own struggles and feel less fearful in opening up. Many times, members join at different stages. Some may never have experienced any counseling, while others may have been working with a counselor for years. Many times different stages of recovery can help the members to grow stronger.

Groups should consist of between eight to twelve individuals. This allows a more intimate setting and provides a comfort level that is not likely for larger groups. Topics of groups can vary and can be anything from divorce recovery, grief and loss, eating disorders or anger management.

All mental health groups should have a facilitator who is trained in counseling to guide them. The counselor expands their role as an individual counselor into the group setting. It is the job of the facilitator to keep each member on topic, ensure that no one monopolizes the session, and confront anyone who is not being open with themselves.

Establishing an atmosphere of trust with each member of the group is extremely important. The facilitator's role is to create an atmosphere that is safe and welcoming to share intimate details about ones experiences. One key component of running a successful group is to stress the importance of confidentiality. Each member must agree to keep everything that is said in session confidential and not share with anyone outside of the people who are in session. Breaking this rule often results in immediate dismissal.

Counselors who facilitate groups are trained as mental health professionals. These professionals have had years of schooling focused on understanding behaviors. They are given tools that will help them challenge difficult behaviors and use reflective listening as a way of guiding clients to make healthy choices.

Different from individual counseling, in a setting with multiple people counselors must have the ability to confront members who are out of line, diffuse stressful situations, and keep the group cohesive. Also very important is to ensure that each member gets an equal amount of talk time and that no one member is dominating conversation.

Individuals can find this type of therapy in most locations where individual counseling is offered. Whether the client lives in Tulsa, OK or any other city, they are likely to find a mental health practice where they can engage in therapy in a group setting. For the counseling to be effective, it is important that the individuals are willing to open up about their own experiences as well as provide insight that may help another member.