Therapy Groups Benefit My Mental Health
My therapist helps me with anxiety and depression by providing me with a safe place to talk about my struggles and process my emotions. Over the summer, my therapist recommended that I try therapy groups. I have been attending the groups for about two months now. Here are some ways therapy groups have been an effective supplement to individual therapy.
5 Ways Therapy Groups Benefit My Mental Health
- I know that my emotions are valid. One group I currently attend is a grief support group. The group discussions are centered around articles and videos about various types of loss. The group instructor understands and respects that everyone grieves in different ways. I feel comfortable talking about my own experiences with grief and loss and the emotions attached to them.
- I feel less alone with my struggles. During a group about cognitive behavioral therapy, the instructor talked about many types of thought distortions. She made sure everyone in the group understood the differences between each distortion and how to recognize when we have them. At one point, the instructor said that everyone has thought distortions, including mental health professionals. Knowing that so many people shared my struggle with thought distortions made me feel less alone.
- I gain insight from fellow group members. During a processing group, members check themselves in by sharing how they feel, what they do for self-care, and whether there is anything they want to process. After everyone checks in, the people who choose to process issues they are struggling with seek thoughts from other group members. I find this to be just as helpful as individual therapy because some people have shared my issues before. I am gaining insight I would not have received without the group.
- I feel motivated to achieve my goals. Another group that helps my mental health is about habits. The instructor for this group talks about why we form bad habits and how to replace them with good habits. One day, she emphasized setting goals that are challenging but keeping them realistic. Having reasonable goals keeps me motivated to stay productive every day.
- I have an action plan to help me get through crises. Like many people with depression, I have been to some very dark places. There have been situations and moments when I didn't know how to handle my emotions. Thankfully, one of the instructors teaches a group about wellness recovery action plans (WRAP). For my action plan, I listed ways to self-soothe, affirmations and mantras to use, things to be grateful for, and emergency contacts to call.
When I see my therapist every week, he asks me about what I learned from the groups. I have told him about the five benefits described in this post. Have you ever done individual therapy as well as therapy groups? If so, share your insights in the comments.
Lueck, M. (2021, November 8). Therapy Groups Benefit My Mental Health, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, June 28 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/toughtimes/2021/11/therapy-groups-benefit-my-mental-health
Author: Martha Lueck
All of these reasons are so valid and truly so wonderful! While I recognize that group therapy may not be for all and that finding the right group can certainly take time and patience, the right one truly can be so beneficial. Sometimes the most important thing is seeing that there actually are others who have been where we've been, and they understand. So glad you found a group that works for you!