Group counseling is one of the single best and most effective components of therapy, but many people have misconceptions about what is and is not a part of group counseling.
Group counseling is not about sharing all of your biggest issues with a bunch of virtual strangers. Instead, it’s about interacting with people who already understand a lot of your current circumstances and can relate to your struggles. The providers at 2nd Chance Treatment Center explain more about what you can and can’t expect from group counseling.
What is group counseling?
Most often, group counseling takes place after you’ve had an inpatient stay for your mental health issues, but this isn’t always the case.
Group counseling sessions are led by a licensed professional counselor, so you can feel sure that the sessions will meet certain standards of professional behavior. One of the bases of group counseling is that you can always feel assured that your sessions will be confidential. Nothing you say within the group will be allowed to be discussed outside the group.
Other principles of group counseling
Group counseling is a tool to gather people together who may have similar issues to you, such as substance use disorder or mental health struggles. By working with others with the same or similar issues, you can find natural common ground because you’ll likely face similar circumstances.
Other principles of group counseling include the following:
- Teaching cognitive-behavioral therapy skills to help you learn how to manage your problems more effectively
- Providing a real-life support group: some of your best friendships may come out of these groups
- Skills counseling: helps you develop more effective communication strategies, which will likely improve all of your relationships
Some people in your life may not necessarily react well to some of the changes you make as a result of your participation in counseling. They may have to face having more boundaries than they did before, which can result in some tension. But you can get ideas for how to deal effectively with this tension from the other members of your support group.
Symptoms that can benefit from group counseling
Group counseling is effective in many situations. Some of the people who might gain benefit from group counseling include the following:
- Chronic pain
- Anger management
- Extreme stress (divorce, a death in the family, job loss)
- Chronic illness
- Domestic violence
- Eating disorders
The reason why group counseling is so effective is that you have a ready-made support group, full of other people who are experiencing the same things that you are. As such, they may be able to understand your issues more personally compared to other people with whom you interact.
If you’re having trouble dealing with something alone, maybe the real issue is that you shouldn’t deal with it alone. Every burden is a bit lighter if it’s shared with someone else who truly understands. To learn more, call the providers at 2nd Chance Treatment Center, or request an appointment online.