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5 Benefits of Group Counseling

A group of people experiencing the benefits of group counseling

Group therapy is an effective choice for many people who are determined to make positive life changes. Whether they are challenged by substance use or need dual-diagnosis treatment, the benefits of group counseling can provide a safe space for addressing concerns.

The benefits of group counseling are numerous and improve a person’s quality of life in many ways. If you or a loved one has a substance use disorder with or without a coexisting mental health disorder, group counseling can help. Contact Northpoint Omaha today at 888.687.8014.

What to Expect from Group Therapy for Addiction

Group therapy represents a distinct modality of talk therapy, commonly known as psychotherapy. This therapeutic approach typically involves groups ranging from five to 15 participants, along with at least one mental health professional who facilitates and guides the group discussions. These sessions can create a supportive environment where individuals can share experiences and challenges openly.

During the group sessions, the mental health professional carefully observes the dynamics of how group members respond to each other and interact within the group setting. This observation allows the facilitator to gather insights into the behaviors and emotional states of the participants.

Leveraging these observations, the mental health professional can provide tailored feedback to each participant, offering them personalized insights and strategies to address their individual issues. This feedback process is a critical component of group therapy, as it helps participants gain a deeper understanding of their own behaviors and thought patterns, encouraging personal growth and healing.

Types of Group Therapy for Addiction

While you might picture a group of people sitting in chairs in a circle for group counseling, that’s only part of what this therapy can include.

Group counseling can also be experiential, like music therapy, art therapy, or equine therapy. It can also be an important component of PTSD and trauma therapy.

Group therapy can provide valuable support, tools, and resources to help people with situations and issues like:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder – A mental health condition triggered by experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event.
  • Phobias – An extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something.
  • Panic disorder – A psychiatric disorder characterized by sudden and repeated attacks of fear that last for several minutes or longer.
  • Depression – A common but serious mood disorder that affects how you feel, think, and handle daily activities.
  • Generalized anxiety disorder – A chronic disorder involving excessive, long-lasting anxiety and worry about nonspecific life events, objects, and situations.

Another approach to group therapy includes using cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) during sessions. CBT helps patients identify and change unhelpful thought patterns and behaviors.

What Are the Benefits of Group Counseling?

Although individual therapy is beneficial in its own way, there are some benefits of group counseling that individual sessions may not provide. An overwhelming number of patients find group therapy helpful and rewarding.

1. Groups Cultivate Social Skills

When patients are part of a group, the very nature of the setting involves navigating situations and discussions with others. Engaging in group counseling helps participants practice being involved in different social situations so they’re more comfortable in their everyday lives.

2. Groups Provide a Sounding Board

Having a safe place where participants can receive objective feedback is crucial. For many, it becomes one of the most beneficial qualities of group counseling sessions. When participants have something they need to get off their chests, a group sounding board may be just what they need.

3. Participants Learn from Each Other

Group sessions involve people who have similar challenges. Participants can learn about themselves when listening to other people discuss their experiences. This can provide insight that may never have come to light otherwise.

4. Groups Provide a Safe Space

Many participants find that they are able and willing to open up in group sessions more than they normally do in other settings. This has to do with the trust that develops between participants. What is said in the group will remain in the group.

This safe space also means that people feel less alone in their struggles because they are surrounded by people who truly understand what they are going through.

5. Group Sessions Give Patients a Voice

It can be difficult for many people to find their voices and be heard. Group sessions provide a place and time during which participants can express themselves without the anxiety and stress they may feel in other contexts.

Group Counseling at Northpoint Omaha Can Help

A safe, supportive, and structured place for group therapy where patients can grow is available at Northpoint. If you or someone you know might benefit from group counseling, reach out to Northpoint Omaha today at 888.687.8014.