The Power of Group Psychotherapy
–By Aisha Abbasi M.D.-
The power and value of Group Psychotherapy is often not appreciated enough. Yet, it is a powerful therapeutic modality for dealing with many emotional issues.
When facilitated by a well-trained group therapist, a group process can help patients identify their core conflicts, recognize how conflicts are played out with others, understand how conflicts affect others and cause problems in relationships, AND identify how conflicts can be modified.
Irvin D. Yalom writes in The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy:
“Members of a cohesive group feel warmth and comfort in the group and a sense of belongingness; they value the group and feel in turn that they are valued, accepted, and supported by other members.”
Importance of the Group Ambiance
The group ambiance creates a safe and useful place where group members can work on growing and changing. The group therapist helps point out the group dynamics and interactions between individual group members, as a way of helping individuals understand in a live way, with the group what they are doing with other people, to other people, and why. At the same time, it is a much more economical treatment for the patient, compared to individual therapy. The cost per session of group therapy is almost one-third to one-fourth the cost of individual therapy.
Groups are of various kinds and for various purposes. Groups can sometimes provide support for certain life stressors (e.g. Divorce Support Group, Grief Support Group), illnesses or conditions (e.g. Breast Cancer Support Group, ADHD Support Group); at other times, group therapy is aimed at dealing with longstanding issues (e.g. Family Difficulties Group, Relationship Issues Group). Groups can be time-limited for a number of weeks or ongoing for longer periods of time. Individuals have many options available to access the value of group psychotherapy.
At Tampa Bay Center for Psychological Health, our therapists have structured excellent groups for a number of issues. Feel free to call 813.492.9241 with inquiries about group therapy or to request additional information about our treatment settings.